County officials spent several hours on the telephone last week, dealing with issues related to the Lonesome Bridge replacement program. The decade-long effort to build a new bridge in that area prompted an email from the state informing the county they had five days to shut down the bridge due to safety concerns.

    During a fiscal court meeting held on Thursday, May 14, District 
Three Magistrate Dale Vaughn discussed the bridge issue. He said the 
project was first discussed in about 2010, when the county was 
informed that the bridge would be replaced with federal funds that 
would flow through the state budget.
    Vaughn said that state officials have been contacted regularly and 
assured county officials that there were some extra steps that needed 
to be taken because the bridge would actually be moved and would 
require some drilling and easements acquired. But throughout the 
process, county officials were assured that the project would be 
completed.
    Last year, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials said that work 
would begin in August. In fact, they had really heard nothing until 
last week when County Judge-Executive Mike Anderson received the 
email about closing the bridge.
    Anderson and Vaughn both said they had made numerous calls 
throughout the day, trying to work out a resolution with the state 
regarding the bridge. Vaughn added that if the state forces the 
bridge to shut down—after they had planned to replace it for nearly a 
decade—the county would need to look at some kind of legal action.
    Work on the Freedom Bridge was discussed briefly during the meeting. 
That bridge is currently being replaced and Anderson said the work is 
progressing as scheduled.
    He expects the project to be completed within a couple of months.
    Anderson also updated magistrates regarding the efforts to reopen 
the offices in the courthouse. The original discussion had been to 
open them by July 1, but Anderson said they are working to get 
offices back open by June 1.
    Plexiglass needs to be installed and they are working on a plan 
where those who need to come into the courthouse can enter through 
one door and exit through another one.
    In other action, the court:
    • Agreed to adopt 620 feet of Great View Drive into the county road system.

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