Bridge work earns road crew statewide award

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By Molly Haines

The Owen County Road Department was recently awarded project of the year in the bridge category for work on the New Liberty Turnpike over Two Mile Creek.
The award was given at the 2013 Snow and Safety Conference by the Kentucky chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Owen County Road Foreman Greg Smoot said projects could be submitted in several different categories, but he chose to submit the bridge over Two Mile Creek for consideration.
Work on the bridge took place during September of 2012 and took 30 days to complete.
“I believe the original bridge went in during the early 1960s,” Smoot said. “It had some renovation work done on it about 20 years ago.”
The project consisted of the replacement of a two span, 64-foot long, wooden bridge deck. The north end of the existing bridge had safety issues due to the severe right turn at the bridge’s end.
According to statistics, there was an average of two wrecks per year over the past 40 years and one fatality. Additional issues were flooding and cost.
The bridge was replaced with a single span, 20 foot wide, 68 foot long, weathering steel bridge. In addition, the approach was realigned so the point of the curve is 176 feet away from the bridge end and at a much less severe angle. After 10 months, there have been no accidents.
Smoot said many of the projects awarded during the conference were multi-million dollar projects, including a $15-million dollar park improvement in Louisville.
The total cost of the bridge over Two Mile Creek was $229,000.
“This one project addressed three different issues,” Smoot said. “It replaced a functionally obsolete structure, reduced flooding potential and enhanced safety.”
Smoot said he felt Owen County received the award due to the cooperative effort with state and local funding and public and private design and construction.
“A lot of it has to do with the bang for the buck, so to speak,” Smoot said. “(The association) mentioned the combination of using private contractors and public employees for construction of the bridge.”