Kentucky Governor Cuts Ribbon on Bridge in Spottsville

Gov. Beshear, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on New Bridge in Spottsville to Replace 1930s-Era Span

New bridge increases safety by offering wider lanes and emergency shoulders

REED, Ky. (STL.News) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local elected officials to celebrate the upcoming opening of a new bridge in Spottsville that replaces a 1930s-era structure. Scheduled to open at the end of August, the new crossing will provide a safer, wider path to move people, farm equipment and goods along a critical connection that feeds into the neighboring cities of Henderson and Owensboro.

“Travelers will have a brand-new bridge that meets modern design standards and will turn daily commutes into safer, more enjoyable rides,” Gov. Beshear said.  “This is a heavily agricultural area, and the new bridge will make life easier for farmers who will have a more direct route to drive their equipment without stopping traffic in both directions when they pass through.”

The new bridge, constructed north of the old bridge, features a 12-foot driving lane in each direction and introduces two 8-foot-wide emergency shoulders for stalled vehicles or first responders.  Construction began in February 2020, and all lanes are expected to open to traffic by the end of August.

“The completion of the new, much wider and safer Spottsville Bridge is a great transportation improvement for Northeast Henderson County,” Sen. Robby Mills of Henderson said.  “It has been my privilege to help keep this project in the road plan for the last six years.  This bridge could help further open up Northeast Henderson and Western Daviess County to more industrial development in the future.  Congrats to all those who built and managed this fine project.”

“The new Spottsville Bridge will be a welcomed addition to Henderson,” Rep. Jonathan Dixon of Corydon said.  “This bridge increases safety and travel accessibility for our local farmers, businesses and residents.”

The Richard W. Owen Memorial Bridge, known locally as the U.S. 60 Green River “Spottsville” Bridge, was named after an early member of the Kentucky Highway Commission who was from Daviess County and who was instrumental in a bridge-building boom across Kentucky that started in the early 1930s.  The truss bridge opened to traffic in December 1931 as a tolled bridge and crossed over the Green River.  It was estimated to carry 3,000 vehicles each day.

The new bridge’s distinctive royal blue color was selected by residents from a list of approved colors as part of a social media voting contest hosted by Henderson County Judge/Executive Brad Schneider.

“For a dozen reasons, the construction of the new Spottsville Bridge is such a boon to Henderson County, with safety being chief among those,” Judge Schneider said.  “I know this project was a long time coming, and the former and current leadership at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet deserve our thanks for finally getting it done.  But probably the man who needs the most appreciation is former state representative Dr. David Watkins, who just about single-handedly negotiated the bridge into the state road plan in 2012.  He should consider this a terrific legacy of his service to our community.”

The remaining bridge work includes painting the upper portion of the truss and striping the bridge deck.  The bridge will partially open while the final work to connect it to the new alignment is being completed.  Crews will be on site in September to remove the old bridge and the old portion of the roadway.

Helping cut the ribbon today was Irma Day, a current Florida resident who participated in a ribbon cutting of the original bridge in the 1930s.  She also cut the ribbon for a subsequent bridge opening after it was reconstructed.

C.J. Mahan Construction Co. was awarded the $32.2 million construction contract.

Editors: Click here to see a rendering of the completed bridge.

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