By Greg Bird
Apparently reacting to public concerns and increased traffic flow on Old Jellico Creek Road, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced Monday that the closure on KY 92 over Jellico Creek has been lifted, with some restrictions.
The steel bridge over the creek, located about 3 miles east of the McCreary/Whitley County border, was found to have structural issues with the stringer beams supporting the structure during an inspection. After the finding the KYTC ordered the bridge closed until repairs could be made.
Though transportation officials designated KY 90 (Falls Road) as a detour from McCreary to Whitley County, many locals ignored the suggestion and instead routed around the closure using Jellico Creek Road and Old Jellico Creek Road, with the latter not accustomed to the increased traffic flow.
On Monday the KYTC announced both lanes over the bridge will be reopened for traffic, but are imposing a 15-ton weight limit – meaning most vehicle traffic can cross, but heavier vehicles such as semis, are prohibited.
The KYTC did quick, probably temporary, emergency repairs to reopen the bridge, but more work will be needed to remove the weight restriction.
Due to the closure and weight restrictions the South McCreary Fire Department has agreed to cover the area west of the bridge until the repairs are completed.