CAIRO – A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reopened the U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge to one-lane traffic Tuesday afternoon – one day earlier than scheduled.
Keith Todd, spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 1 office in Paducah, said the bridge was expected to reopen Wednesday afternoon, but a contractor completed roadway and levee maintenance work on a 2-mile section of the Kentucky approach Tuesday. It closed to all traffic for roadway and levee maintenance work Aug. 1 .
The U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge continues to have one-lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by an automated signal and an 8 ft., 6 inch load width restriction.
The “Cairo” Bridge serves as a north-south connection for U.S. 51, as well as an east-west transportation corridor for U.S. 60 and U.S. 62. The bridge carries about 7,000 vehicles per day between Kentucky and Illinois. Almost 35 percent consists of commercial trucks.
During the extended closure, commuters between Wickliffe, KY and Cairo have had to contend with about an 80-mile detour using I-24 in Paducah or the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.