Blackford Veterans Memorial Bridge makes debut into the 21st century
Construction of the Veteran's walkway with engraved brick began
today. It will continue until completion expected sometime in
the spring of 2006. It will be followed in May by a dedication
ceremony to include a full 21 gun salute, appropriate color guards,
and a two Blackhawk fly over. Future updates will be entered
as information becomes available.
October 23, 2005
Blackford Bridge Makes History
As previously mentioned, construction began on August 16, 2005.
Work proceeded continuously through very hot and dry periods with
heat index reaching 115 degrees or higher. The working crew
worked 12 hours a day and sometimes more. The bridge was
painted with two coats of primer and two coats of paint after a
vigorous pressure washing. The last section of the bridge was
placed on the Webster Co. side on October 4, 2005. All
banisters and side railing were completed by October 13th. New
timbers were installed in a wing- like fashion, on the Crittenden
Co. side, to retain the gravel on the new entrance to the bridge.
We are currently awaiting a blacktop resurfacing schedule for the
Webster and Crittenden Co. right of way. This is the second
time the Blackford Bridge has been reconstructed since 1914.
The original bridge and hand tooled sandstones were first
constructed in 1886. The new mission of the Blackford Bridge
is to provide hiking and biking opportunities for Webster and
Crittenden Counties, and last but not least, will also provide
emergency services to both counties. In addition, the bridge
is expected to attract more tourism dollars to Crittenden and
Webster Counties, and is endorsed by the Marion Tourism Commission,
and the Crittenden Co. Economic Development Council.
October 2, 2005
The Veterans Walk of Honor has just received a donation from an
anonymous source of 15 Cleveland Select Flowering pear trees and one
6 X10' American Flag. The donor whishes to remain anonymous,
but his patriotism and contribution to this project will never be
forgotten. We are forever grateful.
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
Construction on the Blackford Bridge began on August 16th 2005.
Intech INC. from Lexington KY is doing a great job. In spite
of weather conditions with the heat index exceeding 115 degrees the
construction crew persevered. They were supported by local
citizens with ice, Gatorade, and bottled water. One citizen,
Tommy Curry from Blackford, was kind enough to provide the crew with
a well deserved treat of chilled watermelon. After a short
break, Intech will return to work on August 31st. The bridge
is twelve feet wide with rails and 4 x 4 posts down both sides for
the full length of the bridge. The wood for the flooring is
Douglas Fir, and we have been assured this bridge will probably last
at least another 30 years with minimal maintenance. The
expected date of completion is September 15, 2005. A meeting
of the Blackford community was held in the Blackford Fire Department
on Saturday August 27th at 2:00 PM. It was attended by two
Magistrates and recorded for the benefit of Webster Co. Fiscal
Court. Officers were nominated and a board of directors was
also nominated. More meetings are expected in the near future.
Our new memorial was set with great care and expertise by Henry and
Henry Monument Co. on this day. We are deeply indebted to all
the people and local businesses which have made this event possible.
Everyone is invited to view this spectacular monument located on the
Blackford Walking Trail. This memorial was completely paid for
by those who made private donations or purchased brick to honor
veterans in our walkway. We invite veterans and their families
to support this worthy project. This memorial has been erected
to honor all veterans from all wars and all services who served
honorably in war and in peace. To purchase a brick, please
contact Brent Witherspoon at (270) 965-3878 or
The Veteran's Walk of Honor is now
under construction. Many local merchants and individuals are
donating services and in kind donations. Roger's Group has
donated 150 tons of rock for the project. Anonymous donors
have agreed to donate large sums of money for area beautification.
Others have donated labor and concrete including rebar to strengthen
the walkway. We have been successful in raising enough money
to purchase the brick for the walkway. In addition, we have
raised enough money to pay for the memorial and its' foundation.
We must continue to seek funds to complete this project and place it
in perpetual care. For more information please contact the
project manager Brenton Witherspoon at (270) 965-3878 or
March 13, 2005
We are now selling pavers and donating
coffee mugs to raise funds for the construction of the Veteran's
Walk of Honor. On March 3, 2005 an application form appeared
in the Crittenden Co. Press for any veteran or relative to purchase
a paver to honor their loved one who honorably served in the US
Armed Forces in war or peace. Each paver cost $40.00 and any
other donation of $10.00 or more, the donor will receive a free
coffee mug. Applications for a paver are available on this
page via a link below the memorial picture. Anyone
can donate to this project, but only veterans can have their names
inscribed on a paver. Your patriotism and your generosity is
deeply appreciated by each and every vet associated with this
February 24, 2005
Advertisements for bids for the
rehabilitation of the abandoned Blackford Railroad bridge were
advertised in the Journal Enterprise today. On March 14th,
these sealed bids will be opened and a contract will be awarded to
the lowest bidder. The identification of the contractor will
be made public at the next Webster Co. Fiscal Court meeting in
Dixon, KY at 9 AM CST Monday March 14, 2005.
January 11, 2005
Hooray hooray!!! Our
pavilion was completed by Union Co. High School today. Go
December 28, 2004
The Blackford Bridge Project received
approval from the Kentucky division of waterways to proceed with the
restoration of the bridge. This is the first time since 1914 a
permit to reconstruct this bridge which spans Tradewater River has
been issued. Shortly thereafter, the US Coast Guard also
completed their approval process.
UCHS Gives Vet's a
Mr. Dennis Walls' carpentry class and
Mr. Marlin Drury's electrical class pitch in to help work the
concrete as Ohio Valley Concrete from Crittenden Co. delivers the
goods. The 20 X 30 pavilion, is located on the Blackford
Walking Trail in Crittenden Co. Plans for a "Veteran's Walk of
Honor" complete with a 30ft. flag pole are in progress.
Pictured below are from left to right, VFW member Joe Henderson,
student Jennifer Calderon, Derek Omer, and Curtis Wright streeing
the concrete as Blake Lingerfelt mans the rake. Carpentry
student Chris Buckman pulls more concrete to the edge as instructor
Dennis Walls provides guidance and supervision. Listed below
are the classes and students who participated.
Instructor Dennis Walls' carpentry
class: Chris Buckman, Trey Courtney, Jennifer Colderon, and
Instructor Marlin Drury's electrical
class: Joe Hargrove, Blake Lingerfelt, Derek Omer, John Nixon, and Curtis
October 3, 2004
The new road connecting the Blackford
Walking Trail to Blackford Church Road has been constructed and
graveled. Future plans for a "chip and seal" surface are
expected to be completed before winter. Webster Co. has
already received over $180,000 transportation enhancement funds to
be used to reconstruct the bridge across Tradewater River.
Contracts have already been signed and bids are being advertised.
In addition Webster Co. has received the "green light" to proceed
with this project from the Transportation Cabinet. The work on
the Crittenden Co. side was professionally done by the Crittenden
Co. Road Department under the direction and supervision of Mr. R. B.
Kirk. Future plans for a memorial, flag poles, and pavilion
are now under way. Webster Co. has not done any work on their
"right of way" as of yet. There is absolutely no reason why
Webster Co. cannot achieve the same success with their county road
department as Crittenden Co. has so wonderfully demonstrated.
We do expect work to be started on the bridge sometime during the
next sixty days. We will continue to complete the work on the
Crittenden Co. side as soon as possible. Crittenden Co. has
the money and authorization to move forward with their project and
plans to complete the project will be completed as soon as possible.
The project is gaining a great deal of attention from local
residents in the tri- county area. Check back frequently for
more updates on this important project. Your interest and
support for this project is greatly appreciated.
$250,000 approved for
Additional funding to restore
Blackfords historic railroad bridge was announced by US Senator
Mitch Mc Connell's office today. According to Mc Connell's
office, $250,000 was included in the omnibus appropriations
conference report, which was passed by the US Senate with a 68 yea
and 25 nea vote. The report is now on it's way to the
President for his signature. As senior member of the
Appropriations committee, Mc Connell used his position to secure the
funding that would be used to help make the bridge over Tradewater
River passable for emergency vehicles and provide an outlet for
residents during flooding. "I know how important this project
is to the people of Webster Co.," Mc Connell said. "I am
pleased to have been able to use my position as a member of the
Appropriations committee to make the upgrades to the Blackford
Bridge possible." Funding for the Blackford Bridge Project was
a portion of more than 19 million dollars in federal funding secured
for various transportation projects throughout Kentucky for fiscal
-Journal Enterprise- Assistant News Editor Gwen Hicox
A new grant application for $150,000
will be prepared and submitted in the near future. The
deadline for submitting this grant is February 16, 2004. If we
are successful, this should complete the funding for this project.
The T-21 grant will be submitted to the Kentucky Transportation
Department for its consideration and disposition.
September 7, 2004
Work began September third on the
Blackford Walking Trail located in Crittenden Co. KY. They
started by bush-hogging a sixty foot easement from Blackford Church
Road to the Blackford Bridge spanning Tradewater River. Work
is expected to continue from today until the entire easement has
been surfaced with chip and seal pavement. The easement will
be constructed in memorial to Tommy R. Robertson, a Korean War
Veteran declared Missing in Action
December 2, 1950. We hope to widen the trail and future plans
provide lighting and benches. In addition we hope to construct
a parking lot to facilitate the loading and unloading of
recreational vehicles and further provide access to disabled
This project is a continuation of the
Blackford Bridge Project. It is totally endorsed by VFW Post
5484 and VFW Post 12022.
November 21, 2003
Senator McConnell secures funding
for the Blackford Bridge in Webster Co.
Washington D.C.- U.S. Senator Mitch
McConnell announced today that his request for $250,000 in federal
funding for the Blackford Bridge Project in Webster County is
included in the FY'04 Transportation Appropriations Conference
The House and Senate will soon consider
the FY'04 Transportation Appropriations Conference Report.
Once approved, it will then go to the President for his signature.
Governor announces 27 projects for
recreational trails grant funding.
Crittenden Co., Blackford Trail
$14,575- Construction of a paved trail along an abandoned railroad
Effective July 31, 2003 the Blackford
Bridge Project received a grant for reconstruction in the amount of
$150,000. Even though we didn't get what we requested, it was
more than enough to complete Phase II of our project. We have
made substantial progress, but much more work must be done. We
are looking forward to the result of another grant applied for by
Crittenden Co. in the amount of $29,150. We are grateful for
the assistance of Mr. Wilbur Shields who has agreed to donate enough
rock for the project valued at approximately $3,000. These
small local grants will save our project approximately $32,000.
We look forward to the application for a new grant to fund Phase III
later on this winter. We wish to give a special thanks to Rep.
Mike Cherry and Jefferson Co. Commissioner Russ Maple. Their
dedication and contributions to this project has been greatly
January, 28 2003
PDR Engineering Inc. began a thorough inspection of
the Blackford Railroad Bridge. It started out as an arms
length inspection and finished up as "up- close and personal."
The substructure was found to be much stronger than previously
expected. The effort was supported by the Blackford community
and their community building was made available to the inspection
team where free coffee, pastries, and restroom facilities were
provided. Plans are being developed to convert the bridge into
a pedestrian/ bicycle trail/ emergency vehicle route. Work
could begin as early as this fall. Mrs. Bonnie Money is
calling for the support and assistance of the citizens of Webster
to aide this project in any way possible as construction plans move
forward. A complete investigation of the bridge history is now
underway. Anyone having any pictures of the bridge or books or
newspaper clipping describing historical events pertaining to the
bridge is requested to contact Brent Witherspoon at (270) 965- 3878
or via e- mail email@example.com
Phase 1 of the bridge
restoration is currently in progress. Webster County Fiscal Court is
currently in the process of making a request for the second phase of
the operation. According to Judge Executive Jim Townsend the amount
being requested by the court is $232,000.
We are grateful for all the support we have
received and are still receiving throughout this project. We would
like to especially recognize the efforts of Governor Paul Patton and
the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet who have made this project
PDR Engineering, Inc,
of Louisville, KY has been selected to inspect the bridge.