Department of Highways Public Information Officer H.B. Elkins said Estill Countians used to taking the “back roads” into Madison County will need to make a detour or choose an alternate route beginning next week.
Construction on a bridge carrying Wisemantown Road (KY 499) over Drowning Creek is scheduled to begin Monday, July 23.
The construction was originally set to begin Monday, July 16, but rainy weather forced crews to push that start back.
Crews from Kay & Kay Construction will be making repairs to the bridge located at the Estill-Madison County line.
Elkins said the bridge was already scheduled to be part of a rehabilitation project when an inspection revealed “deterioration of the bridge’s superstructure.”
The deterioration is purely a result of natural causes and the age of the bridge. Elkins said the bridge is more than 50 years old.
“We found deterioration in the support beams,” Elkins said.
Because a project had already been scheduled, the Department of Highways made the decision to close one lane of the bridge and established weight and width restrictions for the safety of motorists.
Both lanes of the bridge will be closed once construction begins next week, however.
The closure is scheduled to last no more than 30 days and a signed detour has been marked for motorists. The detour uses KY 594, Ky 52 and Ky 374 to help passengers travel to and from Madison and Estill counties.
“We are required to post signed detours,” Elkins said. “But, motorists can use whatever route they choose. People from Estill will know their own shortcuts.”
Although the bridge will be closed, Elkins said it shouldn’t be a heavy burden on motorists.
“The road is not heavily traveled,” he said. “It’s mostly a back way to Madison County for local people.”
The Department of Highways reported the bridge serves between 368 and 643 motorists each day.
Kay & Kay Construction, a company that specializes in bridge repair, was awarded the bid last fall.
The awarded bid was $291,985.70.