The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and engineering consultants URS Inc./AECOM have been working for about 10 years to redesign the 244 Russell viaduct access to downtown Russell, Ky. Project goals have included the replacement of the deteriorating railroad overpass bridge and improvement of traffic flow and connectivity near the KY 244 and US 23 intersection.
Following a public meeting in 2012, which unveiled alternatives for a new KY 244 bridge, highway planners used comments and several years of studies and engineering data to select one alternative that met the needs of the community and motorists.
That selected alternative includes a "flyover" loop north of the existing KY 244-US 23 intersection to link to a new bridge that curves around by the river and touches down where the existing bridge connects to Bellefonte Street in downtown Russell. The aerial photo above depicts this concept in general terms. Below is an artist's concept of the design. (Click image to open a full-size PDF file of the drawing, and see details.)
Once complete, motorists would travel north or south on US 23, then turn west near the existing KY 750 interchange to access the flyover loop and bridge into downtown Russell.
This design not only replaces the old, deteriorating existing bridge but also improves area traffic flow by moving the KY 244 intersection south of its existing location at the congested Ironton-Russell bridge and US 23 intersection.
Since 2012, with a bridge replacement design in hand, highway officials have been working to secure the needed right of way and move utilities. Once that work was complete in 2019, work started on construction plans that would be advertised for bid. In March 2020, the Transportation Cabinet awarded a low-bid contract of $20,607,500 to Triton Construction Inc. and its subsidiaries to complete the project.