Video: Two Blasts Take Down 91-Year-Old Kentucky Bridge

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is halfway through its four-phase plan to demolish a 91-year-old truss bridge that has been replaced for drivers on U.S. 60 over the Green River.

With the new, wider and safer Spottsville Bridge open in Henderson County, KYTC has been demolishing the old bridge in a series of blasts. The first two implosions were detonated last month, on October 4 and 19.

The first video below shows the October 19 implosion of the larger, 360-foot-long truss: (Note: the first blast is at time marker 1:30. A slow-motion recap is at time marker 2:50.) 

This next video below shows the October 4 implosion of the smaller truss:

Now that the trusses are gone, demolition will move to the piers that held up the 797-foot-long bridge.

KYTC says the bridge, built in 1931 for $2 million and considered to be an engineering marvel of its time, had outlived its usefulness. Its lanes were only 10 feet wide in each direction, and there were no shoulders. That made it impossible for local farmers to get their farm equipment across the bridge, and difficult for emergency response during accidents.

“When it opened in 1931 the old bridge was an engineering marvel,” KYTC says. “The first of many bridges constructed during that era to open, it provided a critical connection for U.S. 60 as it extended westward toward Henderson and on to Paducah.”

At the time, Model A Fords were the typical vehicles on the road, and heavy trucks weighed only about 28 tons loaded. It was built as a toll bridge; the tolls were removed in 1945.

The new $32 million bridge has lanes that are 12 feet wide and shoulders that are 8 feet wide.

Work on the new bridge, painted Kentucky blue after a public online vote for color choice, began in 2020. It opened in August. CJ Mahan Construction Company of Grove City, Ohio, was the general contractor for the new bridge.