February 05, 2013
AT&T to Reconnect Fiber Optic Cable on Eggners Ferry Bridge across the Kentucky Lake
By Shankar Pandiath
Leading IP-based and mobile communications carrier, AT&T (News - Alert), announced that it would begin reconnecting the fiber optic cables on US 68/K 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge, from 9.00 pm CST by February 1, 2013, which will be completed it by the next day.
An important communications link was severely hampered when Delta Mariner, an 8200 ton cargo ship, dashed into the Ferry Bridge on January 26, 2012. The accident had knocked down almost 322 ft. of the bridge into the Kentucky Lake. It had also knocked out the communication network’s fiber optic cable that ran across the Ferry Bridge. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers are formulating a plan to cope with the accident, build a “new truss span” and reopen the bridge for traffic in 17 weeks.
Major damage had been done to a critical communications link passing through the bridge, which almost brought a halt to mobile and Internet networks in some locations. However, AT&T restored its services by running a temporary communications cable across the bottom of Kentucky Lake. A new cable has also been placed across the bridge of late. The technicians and engineers at AT&T will efficiently start connecting the new fiber optic cable this Friday night to restore its services completely.
The overnight fiber optic cable connection work has been scheduled to restore back the link that is responsible for phone and Internet services in a number of industries, schools, and government agencies. Reconnecting the cable connection will require close coordination with different organizations that depend on “critical communications link,” which also includes Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 Headquarters in Paducah.
Re-establishment of fiber optic cable needs technicians to work instantly on each end of the Eggners Ferry Bridge in close proximity to traffic flow. Lane restrictions are not required at the work site, but motorists are advised to slow down and drive cautiously. There will also be higher police presence in the work site, where the technicians have to work closely to the traffic flow to reconnect the communication link.
The Eggners Ferry Bridge was opened to the traffic in March 1932, and later closed for 6 months in 1943 to raise the bridge to efficiently handle higher water levels at Kentucky Lake. It is situated at US 68 Marshall County mile point 28.146 and Trigg County mile point 0.0 at western entrance to Land Between the lakes National Recreation Area. It can carry approx. 2800 vehicles across The Tennessee River/Kentucky Lake in an average.
Edited by Ashley Caputo
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