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Historic Fort Knox bridges to be replaced

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 Governor Steve Beshear  announced Dec. 19 that a project to replace two railroad bridges that are aged and deteriorated, yet vital to Fort Knox and countless freight customers, has been approved for an $11.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The bridges, at Muldraugh in Hardin County, are sequentially located on a heavily used freight rail line that is part of the Strategic Rail Corridor Network and Defense Connector Lines serving Fort Knox. The rail line’s many commercial customers include Louisville Gas & Electric Co., which depends on it for coal deliveries for power generation.

The twin trestle bridges, which date to the 1880s, have finally reached the point at which repair is no longer feasible. Paducah & Louisville Railway Inc. is replacing them at a cost of $24 million. The “TIGER III” grant will assist with that cost. Earlier this year, Gov. Beshear approved $1 million for the project from the Short Line Railroad Assistance Fund, which is administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

KYTC applied for the TIGER III grant with the support and endorsement of Gov. Beshear, who noted that the project will yield the results – jobs and economic recovery– contemplated by TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery).

“The project will create jobs with the construction of new bridges,” Gov. Beshear said. “It also will promote economic recovery throughout the region through improved service to a wide range of industries that rely upon rail service to continue and grow their operations.

“In addition, these bridges are on the only rail line serving Fort Knox, which helps drive the economy of an entire region,” Gov. Beshear said.