Driver who alerted KYTC to crumbling column speaks to WDRB - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Driver who alerted KYTC to crumbling column speaks to WDRB

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As it turns out, the driver who alerted the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet about a crumbling column underneath the Kennedy Bridge, has a background in concrete.

"It was disturbing from where I was looking at it, but I wouldn't have seen it had I not been stuck in traffic," Bob Mustafa told WDRB News.

It was just before Christmas when Mustafa was in Louisville on business when he got stuck in traffic off of I-64 going onto the northbound ramp to I-65.

"I sat there for some time and just out of the corner of my eye, I saw something wrong with the concrete, a big chunk of concrete hanging down," he explained.

So he rolled his window down to get a better look.

"I thought well that looks really really bad and there's a structural problem."

Mustafa used to be a concrete repair specialist so what he was looking at wasn't unfamiliar.

"I've seen all types of situations but this one bothered me because there was weight on it," Mustafa said.

Mustafa told WDRB from where he was sitting, he could see traffic passing over the column and the column appeared to be failing.

"I was afraid it was going to collapse with what I was seeing with the shards that were hanging down from the column."

So he called 911 and spoke to a dispatcher.

"I don't know who she is but she deserves a medal because she listened to me and I told her exactly that there was a possibility of a structural failure," he said.

Minutes later, he was on the phone with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

"I said I think we need to get the interstate shut down. I think they did their job. They were right on it. They responded quickly. They shut it down," said Mustafa.

KYTC officials say routine inspection happens every two years on the columns but that this one had worsened since it was last checked.

"I know they're really good at the transportation cabinet about inspections. They get out of their trucks, put on their climbing gear and they look at what's going on. All in all, I think it was just a freak thing. I just happened to be there at the right time," he said.

The column has been temporarily fixed and the ramp is currently open.

A permanent fix will happen in late January.

Previous stories:

Inspections show worsening columns at downtown exit ramp

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