FLOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – One neighborhood in Floyd County was trapped for a few days when a bridge inspection raised some red flags.
The Justell Bridge along State Route 2557 was shut down Friday, Sept. 1, but is now reopened with limited access to a three-ton weight limit.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said they found a “significant crack” on one of the bridge’s pillars, which forced road crews to set up “Road Closed” signs ahead of Labor Day weekend.
They said they were ready to set permanent barriers up Tuesday, but there was one problem with that plan – the bridge is the only way in or out for the neighbors.
“It’s pretty much abandonment,” said resident Bonnie Coleman. “How are we going to get services? How are we going to get out?”
“I mean, we’ve got elderly, we’ve got people that work. I’ve got three teenage daughters, and they’ve got to go to school, and I’ve got to go to work,” said resident Derek Osborne.
Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams says the county contacted the KYTC, and they agreed to open the bridge with a temporary fix Wednesday evening, including the three-ton weight limit.
However, that weight limit excludes necessary vehicles such as school buses, garbage trucks and emergency service vehicles.
“What if someone’s home gets on fire? If there’s a health emergency, you know, they could possibly, maybe land a helicopter somewhere,” said Coleman.
“It really put the community here, for us, at high risk,” said Osborne.
Neighbors also say they were told the only other alternate routes for emergency vehicles are ATV trail, but they would experience delayed response times.
It’s not clear at this time when the KYTC is planning on making the needed repairs, but if it’s not an easy fix, local’s say they’d rather see their dollars go toward a long term solution.
“Instead of the fix and repair year after year, couldn’t we get a new bridge?” Coleman said.