Loose marina carried by Kentucky floodwater closes bridges in state capitol

Published 5:55 am Thursday, March 4, 2021

Four Frankfort bridges have been temporarily closed to motorists after a 200-foot marina broke free and was carried down the swollen Kentucky River.

The closures affect the Capital Avenue, West Clinton Street and Mero Street bridges. At 2:36 p.m. the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office shutdown the East-West Connector bridge.

It is believed that the 200-foot marina originated in Herrington Lake, about an hour south of Frankfort. It is expected to pass through the capital city this afternoon. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Frankfort Police are in the area monitoring the situation.

Frankfort Police reported at 2:30 p.m. that the marina broke apart behind the Department of Library and Archives and was headed toward the East-West Connector bridge.

Crews with Frankfort Plant Board increased the tension on the electric lines that cross the Kentucky River near the Singing Bridge in an effort to raise the lines for the marina to fit through that area.

“Crisis averted,” said FPB spokesperson Cathey Lindsey after the marina cleared the Singing Bridge. “If our crews had not wenched up the lines today, the dock would have taken them out.”

At 2:47 p.m. FPD cleared pedestrians from the bridges who were watching for the marina to flow through Frankfort. The marina passed the Capitol parking garage at 2:54 p.m. Fifteen minutes later it floated under the Singing Bridge and 10 minutes after cleared the twin bridges.

The marina scraped the bottom of both the Capital Avenue and Singing bridges. Before the Capital Avenue Bridge was reopened, transportation cabinet crews used a drone to inspect the structure. The Singing Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since a car accident in December.

A more in-depth inspection of both bridges will be done once water levels return to normal.