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Owensboro’s Blue Bridge Set to Reopen Friday

Townsquare Media Group

I got the text alert. Then, off in the distance, I heard a chorus of “Hallelujahs!” The blue bridge–the Glover Cary Bridge, to be precise–will reopen this Friday. Our long local nightmare has ended. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit too extreme a characterization, but I know folks who will be very happy to put a period on using the Natcher Bridge as a detour. And shrinking gasoline bills are always welcome. It’s really cool how the city plans to celebrate. I spoke to Public Information Officer, Keith Todd, and he told me that between 8AM and 6PM on Friday, the bridge will be open to pedestrian traffic only before vehicular traffic begins. I, for one, am very excited about this development. I’ve lived here a long time and have never walked on that bridge. But all walkers, bicyclists and the like are welcome and encouraged to come downtown and enjoy the all new Glover Cary Bridge. Todd says he’s very pleased to get the bridge open 3 days ahead of schedule. It could’ve been more, but the rain made that prospect difficult; dry conditions are required to apply sealant. The bridge–known as a through-truss bridge–was built in 1940 and was considered an engineering marvel. Today it’s considered “functionally obsolete.” I asked Todd if that is necessarily a bad thing. He says that just means that if the bridge were completely rebuilt, it would have much more modern design. As it turns out, ”functionally obsolete” is just a style designation. Todd believes the last major rehabilitation of the bridge came in 1970s followed by some more work in the 1980s. This latest project required the complete reconstruction of the concrete deck after a large pothole developed in March. After closing in July, commuters from both sides of the river found themselves seeking alternatives to the convenience of the Glover Cary. But, now we can all return to normal. I guess you could say, “We may now move freely about the tri-state.”

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