PRESTONSBURG – The West Prestonsburg bridge inched a little closer to a new future Monday night as city council members received another update on the current state and future of the West Prestonsburg Bridge.
During unfinished business portion of the council meeting council person Fred Goble presented another update on the West Prestonsburg Bridge. Goble said that he had spoken with an engineer from Austin, Tx. about a process that would bring the bridge back up to code for pedestrian use.
“We want to try and bring the West Prestonsburg bridge back into service for a pedestrian bridge only,” said Goble.
Goble said that the engineer would require in-depth inspection for two to three days that would involve both non-destructive and destructive inspections of the bridge. Goble says that the condition suspension cables that connect the arch to the bridge deck are the most crucial element that has to be explored. “That’s the most important thing to find out,” said Goble.
According to Goble, the engineer has proposed performing the inspections for $19,750 plus hourly if the city needs more work done.
“When we feel like were ready to proceed, we can go ahead and your pleasure,” said Goble.
Goble said that the bridge is one of only two bridges of its type remaining in the United States.
The material that would be used to repair the bridge is not concrete but acts similar to a grout says Goble, and would solidify the damaged areas.
Mayor Les Stapleton said that the engineer was excited at the prospect of working on the bridge, and that its repair was necessary to help connect the city.
“This would connect Prestonsburg to West Prestonsburg, right now there really is no connection,” said Stapleton adding that people really only had a choice of walking along the shoulder of 1428, or hopping the fences that are in place sealing off the bridge.
Stapleton said that the council would take it up again at the next meeting.
The bridge was closed in 1979.
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