Two bridges in Pulaski County, one in McCreary County and one in Wayne County are among more than 100 bridges in Kentucky that fall under the dual categories of fracture critical and structurally deficient, according to Lisa Tolliver, public affairs spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Listed as fracture critical and structurally deficient in a National Bridge Inventory are a bridge that takes Stab Road (CR 1912) over Buck Creek near the Shopville-Stab Fire Department and a bridge that takes McLin Lane (CR 1654) over Coldweather Creek near Nancy.
State Representative Tommy Turner said the old bridge over Buck Creek on Stab Road is a part of old Ky. 80. He said it is not used much and could easily be bypassed. The bridge has an average daily traffic count of 104.
The bridge on McLin Lane over Coldweather Creek has a 6-ton weight limit and an average daily traffic count of 20.
Also, listed structurally deficient and fracture critical in the Department of Highways’ District 8 are a bridge over Rock Creek on Old Fidelity-Bell Road in McCreary County and a bridge that takes Stinson Road over Dry Hollow Creek in Wayne County.
A bridge is classified as fracture critical if it has a fracture critical member. A fracture critical member is defined as "a steel member in tension, or with a tension element, whose failure would probably cause a portion of, or the entire bridge to collapse.” This designation describes the design of a structure and is not affected or determined by structure condition.
Tolliver emphasized that neither of these designations means the bridge is under threat of collapse. If a bridge were deemed unsafe by the state it would be closed, she assured.
Bill Joseph, in charge of bridge maintenance for the Pulaski County Road Department, referred questions about the roads to Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock’s office. Bullock was out of his office investigating a request for city water expansion and not available for comment.
Tiffany Bourne, community development director for the county, said that office, as far as she knows, has not been notified of the designations.