Truckers, avoid U.S. 51 bridge at Cairo, Ill., or face a fine

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Law enforcement will be closely guarding the U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge starting July 29, waiting to bust vehicles wider than 7 feet and longer than 19 feet who enter the construction zone. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the restriction will last 50 days and the marked detour will add 80 miles to truck trips.

The bridge carries U.S. 51, along with U.S. 60 and U.S. 62, between Cairo, Ill., and Wyckliffe, Ky., and connects to the U.S. 60/U.S. 62 Mississippi River Bridge between Illinois and Missouri.

Approximately 2,000 trucks use the bridge each day, which amounts to 35 percent of the bridge’s traffic. Truck traffic that approaches the bridge area is being diverted to the Interstate 24 Ohio River Bridge at Paducah. Officials are advising truckers to plan ahead to avoid the full 80-mile detour.

The restriction will last until about Sept. 14, according to a Transportation Cabinet announcement. Officials had hoped to start the work earlier – in June, but pushed it back twice before deciding on the July 29 start date.

The agency says a 24-hour police presence will hit violators with a $245 fine, and more if a vehicle strikes a construction barrier.

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