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Gratz Bridge

Gratz Bridge (KY 22)

The now-demolished Gratz Bridge carried KY Route 22 over the Kentucky River in Gratz, Kentucky.

A local post office was established along the Kentucky River at Clay Lick Creek in November 1844. Originally known as Clay Lick, it was renamed for Benjamin Gratz Brown in 1851. The city was once a thriving community centered around the flow of commerce along the river, which surged after the first dams were constructed along the river in 1844. 2 Railroads and roadways soon eclipsed river trade and the city of Gratz began a steady decline.

A single-span Parker through truss was constructed over the Kentucky River for Kentucky Route 22 in 1931. 2

Because the crossing was structurally and functionally obsolete, it was proposed to be replaced with a conventional steel girder design. Janssen & Spaans Engineering proposed building a pre-cast concrete bridge, which would include a main span of 325 feet, which would make it the longest single-span, pre-stressed, post-tension span in North America. 1

Construction of the new Gratz Bridge began in 2008. 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 new crossing was completed at the cost of $12.5 million on December 18, 2010. The use of concrete over steel saved the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet nearly $1 million in construction costs. 3

The approaches to the circa 1931 Gratz Bridge were removed in January 2011 and the central span over the river was removed by explosives on February 15. 4


  • State: Kentucky
  • Route: KY Route 22
  • Type: Parker Through Truss
  • Status: Demolished - Replaced
  • Total Length: 1,103 feet
  • Main Span Length: 275 feet
  • Spans:
  • Deck Width: 20 feet
  • Above Vertical Clearance: 15 feet


  1. Glasser, Paul. “Bye, bye bridge.” State Journal [Frankfort]. 11 Feb. 2011. 15 Feb. 2011. Article.
  2. McVeigh, Tony. “End of Road for Historic Gratz Bridge.”Kentucky Public Radio. 6 Oct. 2010. 15 Feb. 2011. Article.
  3. “KY-22 Kentucky River Bridge.” Prestress Services Industries. 15 Feb. 2011. Article.
  4. “Old Gratz bridge over Ky. River to come down.” Herald-Leader [Lexington]. 15 Feb. 2011. 15 Feb. 2011. Article.

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