Timeline for Old U.S. 60 Cumberland River “Smithland” Bridge Demolition on Nov. 30

New bridge closed to traffic starting at 8:30 a.m. with blast at 9 a.m.

PADUCAH, Ky. (November 29, 2023)  Explosive demolition of the Old U.S. 60 Cumberland River “Smithland” Bridge is scheduled for 9 a.m., CST, Thursday, November 30, 2023.

The demolition contractor anticipated having all explosives placed on the truss by noon, today.  That prepares the way for the demolition on Thursday.

Here is a timeline for the blast and associated demolition activities:


  • 7:15 a.m. – Final coordinating meeting for Go-No Go Decision considering weather, etc.
  • 7:45 a.m. – Coast Guard boat and other security vessels on station
  • 8 a.m. – Cumberland River closed to all boat traffic for up to 36 hours
  • 8:05 a.m. – Public viewing areas open at Livingston County Fairgrounds and at 770 Tiline Road (KY 70)
  • 8:30 a.m. – New U.S 60 Cumberland River Bridge closes to all highway traffic
  • 8:40 a.m. – 1500 ft. Blast Clear Zone security sweep
  • 9 a.m. – Siren to precede 10 second countdown to blast that will take down main truss and two approach spans on each side
  • 9:15 a.m. – Contractor and KYTC personnel start sweep deck of new bridge to remove blast debris
  • 9:30 a.m. – Barge and crane move into position to remove old bridge truss from the river with ground-based crew starting additional demolition of approach spans
  • 11 a.m. (Approximately) – New U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge reopens to highway traffic with traffic restricted to one lane alternating flow controlled by an automated signal through Friday
  • 5 p.m. – Crane halts steel removal for the day


  • Cumberland River remains closed to all boat traffic until approximately 8 p.m.
  • Crane continues to remove steel from river at daylight
  • Coast Guard team runs sonar scan of river bed before restoring river traffic

The contractor has established a 1500 clear zone around the blast site.  The public is asked to stay out of the clear zone to avoid delaying the detonation.

The U.S. Coast Guard has authorized the contractor to halt commercial tow boat and pleasure boat traffic for up to 36 hours on the Cumberland River to allow a barge-mounted crane to remove pieces of the steel truss from the river.   Livingston County Emergency Management, Crittenden County Rescue Squad, Marshall County Emergency Management, and McCracken County Emergency Management will assist with security.

A Kentucky Environmental Cabinet DMRE unit will assist with seismic monitoring of the blast.

Plans include a viewing area for the public at the Livingston County Fairgrounds.  A local radio station group, WJLI Radio-Paducah and WMJL Radio-Marion, will provide a public viewing area at 770 Tiline Road (KY 70) in Smithland just upstream from the bridge location.  The KY 70 location has the best view of the bridge.

KYTC District 1 will provide additional updates the morning of the blast should the schedule change.  Updates will be posted at www.Facebook.com/KYTCDistrict1.  We anticipate photos and videos of the blast will be posted by about 12 p.m., Thursday.

Once the initial blast has taken down the main truss and approach spans, two additional blasts will be scheduled at about two-week intervals to take down remnants of the old bridge, including the concrete piers and concrete abutments.

The Old U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge, also known as the Lucy Jefferson Lewis Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge, is at Cumberland River navigation mile point 2.7.  The 92-year-old 1,817 ft. structure with a 500 ft. main truss span opened to traffic in 1931. When it first opened the original toll for a passenger vehicle was 25 cents, trucks were 50 cents, and livestock on the hoof was 5 cents a head.

The bridge was constructed with very little power equipment.  Most of the steel was lifted into place by construction workers using block and tackle.


The New U.S. 60 Cumberland River “Smithland” Bridge, also known as the Jim R. Smith Memorial Bridge, opened to traffic on May 15, 2023.  The new bridge is at U.S. 60 Livingston County mile point 12.348.  The 1,912 ft. structure with a 700 ft. main truss and 40 ft. wide deck was constructed by Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers.

About 5,100 vehicles cross the Smithland Bridge in an average day.  The bridge is at Cumberland River navigation mile point 2.7.