Gratz Bridge (KY 22)
The Gratz Bridge formerly carried KY 22 over the Kentucky River in Gratz, Kentucky.
The city of Gratz, named for Benhamin Gratz Brown, was once a thriving community that contained a hotel and bank, along with a collection of other businesses and industries during the steamboat era. Commerce and trade flowed along the river from 1844, when the first dams were constructed along the Kentucky, to 1920 when travel along the river began to drop.2 Railroads and roadways soon eclipsed commerce along the river and Gratz began a steady decline.
In 1931, a single-span Parker through truss was constructed over the Kentucky River for KY 22. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.2
Due to the Gratz Bridge being structurally and functionally obsolete, it was decided to replace the crossing. The new bridge was originally proposed as a conventional steel girder crossing but a pre-cast concrete bridge, engineered by Janssen & Spaans Engineering, saved the state nearly $1 million.3 Construction on the new Gratz Bridge began in 2008 and was completed on December 18, 2010 at a cost of $12.5 million. It boasts a main span of 325-feet, the longest single-span, pre-stressed, post-tension span in North America.1 Prestress Service Industries of Melbourne, Kentucky supplied the components, which was delivered to Gratz by barge along the Kentucky River and by truck.
The approaches to the original Gratz Bridge were removed in January 2011 and the central span over the river was removed by explosives on February 15.4