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Parkway eastbound traffic resumes

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By Randy Patrick

Eastbound traffic is moving again on the Bluegrass Parkway between Exits 21 and 25 less than a week after they were closed because of structural problems with the bridge over the Beech Fork River.

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The bridge on the eastbound side remains closed, but workers have built crossovers on both sides to route eastbound traffic onto one of the westbound lanes until the problem with the bridge can be fixed.

Traffic had been detoured through Bardstown on U.S. 62 and 150 and Ky. 245, and truck traffic on Ky. 245 to I-65 while the crossovers were under construction.

The temporary eastbound lane on the westbound side was opened around 4 p.m. Thursday.

Chris Jessie, a spokesman for the Transportation Cabinet’s District 4 office in Elizabethtown, said the crossovers were completed sooner than anticipated.

The Department of Highways had thought it might take seven to 10 days because of the remnants of the tropical storm Barry would bring several days of heavy rain that would delay the work, but that didn’t happen.

“We were able to get good weather, so it moved along quite nicely,” he said.

The bridge has been closed since July 13 and won’t reopen anytime soon.

“It’s going to be a while,” Jessie said. “What it’s going to involve, we don’t know yet.”

Jessie said the state used its own workers and a contractor to build the crossovers.

Until the bridge issue is resolved, traffic will be reduced to one lane each direction on the westbound side.

“Altogether, you may be running on the westbound side for about half a mile,” the spokesman said.

One of the concerns the Department of Highways had was what effect the heavy traffic for the Nelson County Fair on New Haven Road (U.S. 31E) near Exit 21 might have on delays, but the eastbound lanes were reopened before the weekend, when the biggest crowds attend the fair.

Currently, there is a similar crossover situation near the first Elizabethtown exits on the Bluegrass Parkway, where crews have been working this summer, and Jessie said there will soon be a rehab project on the section going from Nelson into Hardin County.