The Livermore Bridge carries US Route 431 over the Green River in Livermore, Kentucky. It is notable for being the only bridge in the world that starts in one county, crosses two rivers and a different county, and ends up back in the county in which it started.
The Livermore Ferry was established over the Green and Rough Rivers on the main north-south route through Ohio County in the early 1800s, connecting Livermore on the north shore of the Green River with Island to the south, along with a branch to connect to the Point across the Rough River, an isolated agricultural community at the juncture of the two waterways. 3 6 Eventually, the ferry was incorporated into KY Route 75 in 1929.
In March 1939, construction began on a fixed crossing over the Green and Rough Rivers to replace the Livermore Ferry. 7 Contracts totaling $313,714 were awarded to the Sandy Hites Company of Kansas City for the foundation, the Bethlehem Steel Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the superstructure, and to Albert Snider of Danville for the gravel approach roadways. 5 7
Work was being financed through a $200,000 federal Public Works Administration grant and traditional revenue bonds. 7
The new Livermore Bridge was dedicated on November 13, 1940. 2 4 When it was completed, it was notable for being the only bridge in the world that starts in one county (McLean), crosses two rivers (Green and Rough) and a different county (Ohio), and ends up back in the county in which it started.
The dedication of the span included speeches from Governor Keen Johnson, E. G. Lindemann, a prominent businessman and chairman of the Tri-State Short Route Highway Association who had pushed for the bridge’s construction, and Truman Atherton, president of the Livermore Chamber of Commerce, among many others. 4
Upon the completion of the fixed crossing, the Livermore Ferry across the Green and Rough Rivers was retired and a new ferry service between Livermore and the Point across the Rough River was instituted. 3 Without the ferry, residents in the Point and outside oil investments who had wells in the vicinity had to travel six miles south to the Point Pleasant Ferry and back to get to Livermore or had to travel 30 miles to Hartford to cross over.
The bridge was tolled from its inception until the bonds were paid off on September 6, 1946. 1
- State: Kentucky
- Route: US Route 431
- Type: Warren Through Truss
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Total Length: 1,643 feet
- Main Span Length: 320 feet
- Deck Width: 24 feet
- Above Vertical Clearance: 17.7 feet
- “Livermore Bridge Being Freed After Six Years.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 28 Aug. 1946, p. 6.
- Bridge plaque.
- “Ferry Service to ‘Point’ Wanted at Livermore.” Owensboro Messenger, 3 Nov. 1940, p. 2-5.
- Daniel, W. E. “Hundreds of Cars Cross Green River as Span Formally Opened.” Owensboro Messenger, 14 Nov. 1940, pp. 1-4.
- “Livermore and Rockport Bridges Over Green River To Be Completed By Spring.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 22 Oct. 1939, p. 2-1.
- Leach, Charles A. “The History of Ferry Operations in Ohio County.” Ohio County, Kentucky History, 28 Jan. 2013.
- “Span Contracts Are Awarded.” Owensboro Messenger, 28 Feb. 1939, p. 2.