Part of Old Ledbetter Bridge collapses - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Part of Old Ledbetter Bridge collapses

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KYTC said demolition crews worked on Monday to secure a slumping section of the bridge. (Source: KYTC/Facebook) KYTC said demolition crews worked on Monday to secure a slumping section of the bridge. (Source: KYTC/Facebook)
(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
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MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

Members of a demolition crew arrived at the Old Ledbetter Bridge on Monday, June 23.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, they used a torch to cut the guardrail and several bolts that tied a slumping, but still standing, section of the approach  to the main truss.

KYTC said they hoped it might allow the remaining west approach to span the fall. However, at the end of the day, it was still standing.

Work continues to assemble a 200-ton crane that will be used as the demolition efforts ramp up.

A part of the Old Ledbetter bridge over the Tennessee river in Paducah, Ky. collapsed early Sunday morning. 

Ground underneath the west end of the bridge slipped several inches on Friday, June 20 and more than a foot by Sunday, according to Keith Todd, spokesperson for KYTC. 

"From what we're finding out from the neighbors is there has been land slippage here off and on for about the last 50 years. There's actually a house just up the bluff here that has been moved twice in the last 50 years," Todd said. 

The KYTC had been monitoring the bridge with electronic sensors, which indicated that the portion of the bridge collapsed on the McCracken County side of the TennesTennessee around 2:07 a.m.

"There is a land slippage here that runs maybe about a quarter mile up and down the shoreline. And we've had several heavy rains this spring -- Through the winter we had a lot of thawing and freezing and freezing and thawing. And so the theory is the land along here started moving at some point," Todd said. 

KYTC District 1 engineers and inspectors ran a four to six hour safety check on the main portion of the bridge. The KYTC does not believe the main portion of the bridge is at risk of falling, according to Todd. 

Residents like Lori Long say they're sad to see it go. She crossed this bridge for many years.

"I crossed it many times going to work. I work here in Paducah. So sad to see it go. But, glad we got the new one just in time," Long said. 
The US Coast Guard has been alerted and advises boats not to stop underneath the remaining portion of the bridge. 

Contractors had been arranging equipment in preparation for demolishing the bridge. The cost of the project is estimated at $5.6 million and could take up to six months. 

Kentucky State Police have taped off the area surrounding the bridge and parts of the bluff it rests on because of safety concerns. Police are issuing citations to people who cross over marked areas near the bridge. 

The Old Ledbetter bridge connected Livingston and McCracken Counties for more than 80 years. Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, it opened to traffic in 1931. It has been closed to traffic since July of 2013 when traffic was diverted from US 60 to a new bridge on New US 60. 

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