Kentucky lifts hazmat ban in tunnel near East End bridge
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky has lifted an order in place since January that banned vehicles carrying hazardous materials from using a highway tunnel in eastern Jefferson County.
The state Transportation Cabinet announced Friday morning that repairs to the 1,700-foot-long tunnel’s sprinkler system have been finished and the ban removed. Passenger vehicles and trucks not carrying potentially harmful materials still were able to use the tunnel just south of the Lewis and Clark Bridge near Prospect.
The cabinet has not yet disclosed how much Kentucky spent on the repairs.
Walsh-Vinci Construction oversaw the work on sections of the fire protection system that were leaking, according to a spokesman for WVB East End Partners, the consortium of companies that built the tunnel, the new bridge and the roads leading to it on both sides of the Ohio River.
The tunnel’s fire safety equipment was damaged after a false fire alarm in the tunnel on December 29, according to a Transportation Cabinet description. The system's software didn't notify tunnel operators that a water pump had been shut down when the alarm sounded. The stagnant water later froze during cold weather, causing pipes to burst.
Vehicles carrying hazardous loads had been rerouted to other Ohio River bridges, primarily the Interstate 65 crossings downtown.
The tunnel, part of the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, opened in late 2016.
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