One of America’s Scariest Bridges Is in Kentucky

While researching another post about an amazing Kentucky fact, I came across a YouTube video of a bridge in the Bluegrass state that some people are afraid to cross.

Location and dimensions of the Brookport Bridge

The bridge is almost 100 years old and connects Paducah, KY to Brookport, IL over the Ohio River. Brookport Bridge is 5,386 feet long and 716 feet and 3/8 inch high. The very long link makes it probably the longest truss bridge in the world. Although closed in 2019 for repairs, the bridge is now open.

Jvid/Youtube

Jvid/Youtube

What’s so scary about the Brookport Bridge?

Just to be clear, the bridge is completely safe and is subject to regular inspections by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. But what makes it so scary is…

It’s an unusually narrow two-lane bridge, but the posted speed limit is only 25 mph. Some people think the bridge is scary to cross, but as long as you’re not texting while driving, it’s not that bad. That said, evidence of distracted drivers scraping against bridges or cars is evident with shrapnel noted on the bridge deck.

– Historical bridges

Jvid/YouTube

Jvid/YouTube

The bridge is also very noisy when you drive over it. Between being extremely cramped and the sound, it can be very nerve-wracking and worrying for drivers who have to drive through it.

Oh, and steel grabbing your tires and moving your car all over the place doesn’t help either. Let’s just say the Brockport Bridge is a real nail biter.

Jvid/YouTube

Jvid/YouTube

Reactions from motorists who crossed the Brookport Bridge

I’m not afraid of bridges. This bridge is the exception. I had already crossed it as a passenger but never as a driver. About three years ago I drove through it. Wow. I don’t know if I would ever do that again. The bridge seemed to go on forever as I glided along. I’m ok as long as I’m not driving. – Melissa B

– Bridge Hunter

Jvid/YouTube

Jvid/YouTube

It was dark at the time, and once on deck I had a few good moments thinking, “Oh my God, I’m not going to make it.” I had to resist a very strong urge to stop my car, right in the middle of this thing. I knew I couldn’t do that, so I just did my best to focus on the end of the bridge and keep the car as straight as possible. All I could think about was what it would be like to get out… The cautious feel of the bridge and the tugging of my tires (I had to go pretty slow) made me feel like I was going to lose control. I mean, all of you. Lol, this bridge is a you-know-what, if you have issues with bridges, heights, panic/anxiety, etc., do NOT take this bridge if you can help it. No kidding – they really should have a warning sign. – Melissa C.

– Bridge Hunter

Is there a plan to build a new bridge that connects Paduch, KY to Brookport, IL?

The bridge is not for the faint of heart and those who lack confidence in driving. Due to the frightening and outdated age and dimensions of the Brookport Bridge, is there a plan to replace it?

…there is no process in place to replace the US 45 Ohio River “Brookport” Bridge. However, the existing bridge will continue to be maintained to current safety standards.

– Planet Metropolis

Ok, so you’ll have to keep slowing down, concentrating, and being careful as you cross that bridge. Be careful.

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