U.S. 51 Ohio River ‘Cairo’ Bridge open after semi crash

(KBSI) – The U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge is back open after the bridge was blocked by a semi crash on Monday.

A semi was southbound on the bridge and hit the railing near the Kentucky end of the bridge, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The site is cleared and all lanes are open.

The Wickliffe-Cairo Bridge carries U.S. 51, U.S. 60, and U.S. 62 traffic across the Ohio River at U.S. 51 Kentucky mile point 7.372.

Also known as The Cairo Bridge, the U.S. 51/U.S. 60/U.S. 62 Wickliffe-Cairo Bridge carries approximately 5,800 vehicles across the Ohio River each day between Wickliffe, KY, and Cairo, IL. About 35 percent of those vehicles are commercial trucks. It is the longest bridge in Kentucky and the westernmost bridge over the Ohio River.

The Cairo Bridge immediately connects with the U.S. 60/U.S. 62 Mississippi River Bridge that connects Missouri and Illinois. The east-west traffic on U.S. 60 and U.S. 62 combines with the north-south traffic on U.S. 51 to provide a critical river crossing of far more importance that traffic count might indicate.

The U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge was constructed by the Cairo Bridge Commission as a toll facility and opened to traffic on November 11, 1936. Tolls were removed from the crossing on November 11, 1948, when the highway departments of Kentucky and Illinois took over maintenance of the structure.

The Cairo-Wickliffe Bridge is at Ohio River navigation mile point 980.4.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Illinois Department of Transportation are planning the construction of a new bridge at this site.

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