Eastbound and westbound traffic shift to take about two days to complete

PADUCAH, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2024)  A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans a traffic shift in the Interstate 24 Tennessee River Bridge work zone near the 29 mile marker starting Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

The contractor will use rolling roadblocks to alter traffic control to shift eastbound traffic to two 11-ft. lanes.  With traffic paint stripping changes and repositioning of a concrete work zone barrier wall, the eastbound traffic shift is expected to take about two days to complete.

Eastbound travelers on I-24 should be alert for rolling roadblocks on Wednesday and Thursday to create gaps in traffic that will allow changes to the traffic configuration.  Some delays are possible during the transition process.

The contractor plans to have two 11-ft lanes open for eastbound traffic by sometime Thursday or Friday.  The work zone will continue to have a 13 ft.-6 in. maximum height restriction and an 8 ft.-6 in. maximum load width restriction for both directions of travel.

Starting on Thursday, February 22, the contractor will execute a traffic shift for westbound traffic.  However, westbound traffic will continue to be restricted to one lane for several more weeks to allow installation of new expansion joints on the bridge deck.  Westbound traffic will continue to merge into the right-hand or driving lane to enter the work zone.

Appropriate caution is required where equipment, flaggers, and maintenance personnel are along the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow.

This work zone includes a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, enhanced enforcement, and double fines.  It includes interactive traffic monitoring with portable message boards that automatically alert motorists when traffic backups develop.

Local commuters who travel this section of I-24 are asked to self-detour via U.S. 62 and KY 453 between Calvert City Exit 27 and Grand Rivers Exit 31 to help reduce the likelihood of delays – particularly during peak travel periods.

This is the fourth of several traffic phases for this major bridge rehab project that will continue through 2024. The initial work is for joint replacement.  Once eastbound traffic is reconfigured to two 11 ft. lanes, the contractor will add an overhead tarp containment structure to allow abrasive cleaning to prepare for painting of the steel arch.

Spartan Contracting is the prime contractor on this $16,353,000 bridge rehabilitation and maintenance project.  The target completion date for all work is December 1, 2024.

The Interstate 24 Tennessee River Bridge consists of twin tied-arch suspension bridges at I-24 mile point 29.352 at the Marshall-Livingston County Line. 

The 2,017 ft. bridge with a  534 ft. main span is also known as the Luther Draffen Bridge.  The bridge opened to traffic in 1974.  The twin structures carry approximately 30,000 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day.

The bridge is at Tennessee River navigation mile point 21.1, about a mile below Kentucky Dam.