Bridge project

Special to The Register/Robert Janicki

A photo taken of a project to restore a critical bridge in the Newby area as of Oct. 16. 

The residents of Newby are calling for more action to be taken regarding the restoration of a critical bridge in the area. 

Since 2020 the bridge at Tates Creek and Maple Grove Roads has been closed after it was deemed unsafe in April that year by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet following a routine maintenance review. 

Everyone in the area, including Newby Country Store owner Ashlie Hatton, said in the beginning this just meant small things like a longer commute, more time with the kids in the car, and a beautiful scenic route. 

However, work has slowly progressed which has created bigger problems for locals in times of emergencies. 

“It means an emergency vehicle route that was initially a three road route became a seven road route,” Hatton posted. “It means what could have been an ambulance ride became an airlift. It means what could have been a saved home is now ashes. It means the grandfather having a heart attack and the 17-year-old who hit a deer are waiting three times as long for emergency vehicles.” 

In the same Facebook post made, she said two years, three petitions and unfulfilled promises later — those impacted are ready for answers. 

Hatton said she had multiple conversations with leaders from every aspect of government, and has passed along the reassurance that was given to her that it will be fixed. 

She went to the county, who told her it was a state road, which prompted her to go up the chain with concerns. She did. 

“It has kind of been all over the place,” she told the Register. 

Just last week, another inspection was conducted for the minimal progress made, and the bridge failed a concrete test. 

A press release from KYTC read, “KYTC conducted multiple strength tests on the concrete poured for the new bridge. Unfortunately the concrete failed those strength tests. It will have to be removed and re-poured leaving a significant amount of work to be completed.” 

This is not the answer locals had hoped for which left them with a large one: “How do we fix it?” 

“In the store I hear about this almost daily,” Hatton said. “...We have a lot of talent in Newby that has offered to step up and build the bridge.”

They hope to get answers Tuesday night at 6 p.m., when those interested will gather at Newby Baptist Church parking lot and have the chance to speak with Josh Bray Kentucky State Representative and the Transportation Department who will be providing an update and answering questions. 

Hatton and other residents of Newby are calling on anyone to attend who has concerns or questions and they are hoping for a big turnout to really get the word out, and make their voice heard at the state level. 

Those interested can meet at the Newby Baptist Church Parking lot at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. 

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