One of the few remaining truss bridges in Kentucky funded by the Murphy Toll Bridge Act of 1928 will soon be demolished. The Smithland Bridge was completed over the Cumberland River for US 60 in 1931 and was originally tolled with revenues being used to pay off its construction bonds.
In 2017, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet selected a consultant to study possible options for replacing the Smithland Bridge. The state determined that the structure was functionally obsolete because of its narrow deck width of 20 feet and its structural deficiencies. KYTC began preparation work for constructing the new Smithland Bridge in June 2020 and work on the new near-$64 million crossing began shortly after.
The American Bridge Company began work on the 700-foot main span at the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority on the Tennessee River in July 2021. The truss was assembled atop seven barges and then floated 14 miles upstream on the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers to Smithland. Hydraulic lift towers jacked the main truss into place in mid-September 2022.
The new Smithland Bridge is scheduled to be opened in December 2022 with the old bridge to be demolished between April and June 2023.