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US 60 Cumberland River Bridge Replacement

Bridging the gap between conflicting needs to optimize a critical connection

  • 700

    Foot Navigation Span

  • 1,912

    Foot Long Bridge

  • $63M

    Construction Value

  • Smithland, Kentucky

    Smithland, Kentucky

Complex stakeholder coordination and innovative use of technology for a major bridge crossing

Built in 1931, the existing US 60 Bridge over the Cumberland River needed to be replaced. At first glance, replacing the bridge seemed straightforward—the new bridge needed to be functional, safe, and economical. However, multiple stakeholders, navigation constraints, archaeological impacts, and a history of riverbank stability problems led to a complex interrelated design process.

We partnered with Seaman’s Church Institute to perform navigation simulation modeling of alignment and pier placement options. The innovative study, done in collaboration with the maritime industry and Coast Guard, resulted in early buy-in on required clearances. A subsequent bridge type and span arrangement study resulted in a span that met the design objectives and owner preference.

The modified warren truss features a modern design approach that improves efficiency and aesthetics while reducing life-cycle costs by eliminating verticals and sway bracing.

The project included environmental studies and permitting, public involvement, surveying, bridge and roadway design, geotechnical engineering, utility coordination, and construction phase support. The US 60 Cumberland bridge design met the varied needs of all stakeholders and will successfully replace its nearly century-old predecessor.

At a Glance

Expert Spotlight

Tony Hunley, Vice President, Bridge Sector Leader

Bridges aren't just science, they’re art. Everything we do—from basic to long span—shows our public commitment and our passion for bridges.
Tony Hunley Vice President, Bridge Sector Leader Read More

Kurt Schaefer, Principal, Geotechnical Engineering

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -Thomas Edison
Kurt Schaefer Principal, Geotechnical Engineering Read More

Tony Hunley

Vice President, Bridge Sector Leader

Kurt Schaefer

Principal, Geotechnical Engineering

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