Monday, December 5, 2016

US-51/60/62 over Ohio River in Cairo, IL

20161126 6760rc, South (Kentucky) Portal
(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesSatellite)

I was shocked to read in Historic Bridges that Kentucky wants to destroy this bridge. First of all, the traffic is on I-57, not these US highways. The traffic on this bridge was light when I spent some time in the area. A streetview also shows light traffic. I think a third lane is needed on I-65 between Indianapolis and the Chicago area long before four lanes are needed here. If four lanes are deemed necessary, then I would like to agree with Historic Bridges --- build another two-lane bridge. However, the current bridge is not expected to survive a New Madrid earthquake. The largest span is 800'. [US51bridge-overview]
Upstream Elevation

20200219 1393
Downstream elevations viewed from the Fort Jefferson Hill Park and Memorial Cross


[One advantage of bridge replacements is that the some DOTs take some nice photos of the current bridge.]

One of several photos posted about Cairo, IL by AARoads


Input sought on replacing Cairo Bridge

US51bridge-home and US51birdge-media, cropped

A 2014 Alternative Selection Report evaluated potential locations for a replacement bridge across the Ohio River in this area and recommended a 2000ft corridor upstream of the existing US 51 bridge as the preferred location for the crossing. If the US 51 Bridge were not available for local traffic, the detour trip between Wickliffe, KY and Cairo, IL increases from 7 miles to 80+ miles per direction. Adding approximately 70 miles per direction to trips between Illinois and Kentucky would be a hardship to area residents.

Since Kentucky plans to replace, rather than augment this bridge, my wife's "bad" photos of high river levels become good photos of the bridge's truss members.

It is interesting that some members are lattice while others are box.

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