Truck drivers say bridge detour will cost them time, money - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Truck drivers say bridge detour will cost them time, money

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CAIRO, IL (KFVS) -

Semi trucks won't be able to use the US 51 Ohio River Bridge for about 60 days during an upcoming bridge repair project.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the bridge on Highway 51 between Cairo, Illinois and Wickliffe, Kentucky is scheduled to close after July 15.

Officials say the bridge will have a seven-foot maximum load width. That means semi-trucks will be forced to use another route.

Truck drivers say this 80-mile detour on I-24 will cost them time and money.

"It's taking time away from your log book, said Billy Crissel, a truck driver."When you could be here in 30 minutes, you're taking two hours or more to get here now. And, that's taking away from your delivery time. It's just costing more money in fuel and everything else too."

The project includes support repairs and joint replacements.

Kentucky Transportation officials say the repair work is required to maintain long-term reliability of the bridge.

"The load width is an attempt to maintain private passenger vehicle traffic for those who depend on the bridge to commute to and from work," said Keith Todd, KYTC. "This will impact tour bus traffic, people pulling boats, and any number of other vehicles that will be prohibited from traveling through this work zone width restriction."

The U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge was constructed by the Cairo Bridge Commission and opened to traffic on November 11, 1936.

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