PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet contractor has completed a detailed inspection of the U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge between Kentucky and Illinois. Climbers completed their last round of work Saturday afternoon, Aug. 27.
The inspection was completed about five days earlier than expected. No further traffic restrictions will be required on the bridge. All lanes are open.
The U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge carries U.S. 60 and U.S. 62 traffic across the Ohio River at U.S. 51 Kentucky mile point 7.372.
Also known as The Cairo Bridge, the structure carries approximately 5,800 vehicles across the Ohio River each day between Wickliffe, Kentucky, and Cairo, Illinois. About 35% of those vehicles are commercial trucks.
The Cairo Bridge immediately connects with the U.S. 60/U.S. 62 Mississippi River Bridge that connects Missouri and Illinois. The east-west traffic on U.S. 60 and U.S. 62 combines with the north-south traffic on U.S. 51 to create a critical transportation link.
The U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge opened to traffic on Nov. 11, 1936. Tolls were removed from the crossing on Nov. 11, 1948, when the highway departments of Kentucky and Illinois took over maintenance of the structure.
The Cairo-Wickliffe Bridge is at Ohio River navigation mile point 980.4.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Illinois Department of Transportation are in the planning process for construction of a new bridge across the Ohio River.
For more information about plans for the new bridge, click here.
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