Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ghosts of Maysville Christmas Past

Alright, we know Christmas was a few days back, but we missed posting this picture of Market Street in one of Maysville's Christmas pasts. Unfortunately we couldn't date the photograph for you (maybe someone out there can in the comments section), but if you look closely the fountain is in a different location than it is today. The decorations are much different as well. In any case, Merry Christmas belated and enjoy your New Year's Eve celebrations.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pirates on the Ohio River

When we think pirates, we think one-eyed, one-legged, eye-patched swashbucklers on the high seas. It may surprise some that the Ohio River had its own share of pirates during the 19th century. While stories of pirates throughout this region are overshadowed by its Underground Railroad history, further down river pirate history is better known. For example, pirates set up shop at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, waylaid travellers on their way down the river, killed them, stole their goods, and scuttled their boats. Though it's unlikely that you'll find a pirate these days, you can always hitch a ride on the ferry boat that traverses the Ohio daily out of Augusta, Kentucky. If you want to let out an "ARRGGGH!", we won't tell.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

1854 Explosion Brings History Full Circle

On August 13, 1854, the Maysville Express reported the following:

"Last night at 2:15 a.m. the magazine situated on the Maysville & Lexington turnpike road at the lower end of the city was fired by miscreants unknown, and its contents, eight hundred kegs of blasting and rifle powder, were burned, causing a terrific explosion and great destruction of property. Not a house in the city of Maysville. East Maysville, or Aberdeen escaped injury. A stone weighing 43 pounds was found in Aberdeen 1 1/3 miles from the spot. The explosion was heard at Popular Plains, 22 miles distance; on a steamboat 42 miles up the river; at Hillsboro, Ohio, 40 miles away; the whole body of water in the Ohio River surged toward the Ohio shore, rising suddenly and deep on that shoreline; in the Maysville Cotton Mill, 1200 lights of glass shattered. Damage was in excess of $200,000. No one was killed and very few injuries."

This particular story is pretty cool because if you have a look at the buildings downtown, some of them still have craters in the side of the building from this blast. They say that the scars on a man are the record of his history. These scars on the buildings from the 1854 explosion are the direct experience of Maysville history that you won't find by simply reading a book. If you know the story of why there's a crater in the side of the building, and you take the time to go and look at it, you are connected to history like this:

Crater in side of building in 2006 = Evidence of an explosion in 1854 of a weapons magazine = Same weapons magazine that could have housed weapons for the Union during Civil War = When Civil War breaks out weapons have to be transported through Maysville because of the loss of weapons less than ten years earlier = More transportation through area creates a boom = More interest in surrounding area because of its strategic Ohio River location = Greater commerce and stability = Growth = Present day population and economic status = Why there's a Super Walmart located here

It's amazing how a simple chance of fate or accident in 1854 leads to a Super Walmart. But that's history for you. It's an ever evolving dramatic unfolding of events more interesting than any movie or novel ever released. So please, everyone when they get a chance, head downtown, touch a crater in the side of a building, and become a part of history.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Year's Eve Festivities

We looked around to see if anyone in the area was throwing an open New Year's Party and came across a calendar listing for the New Year's Bash at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. There wasn't much more information than that but you can call Paul Tierney at (859) 289-5507 for more information. O'Rourkes Pub on Market Street will be having their annual New Year's Party on December 31st as well with no reservation, no cover, and free champagne at midnight. Not to be outdone, the Last National Banque on Market Street will be having the band Spare Change playing and invites everyone to come out for that. More information can be found at:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Weight Loss Your New Year's Resolution?

For those of you looking to shed a few pounds this New Year's, the Mason County Beat is sponsoring a New Year's weight loss challenge. You get free nutrition advice, a built in support group, diet and exercise support, and you can win prizes including a $500 clothing shopping spree and a makeover. More details are in the Mason County Beat (available pretty much everywhere), or you can call Betty Coutant at 564-0009. You can also visit the Mason County Beat's web site at: Meetings start up Jan 4. at 6 pm at the Homefront Cafe on second street.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Painting From Local Artist of St. Patrick's Altar

Local artist Steve White has recently completed a commissioned painting of the St. Patrick's Church altar, print sales of which will benefit the church. The piece is a finely detailed painting of the inside of St. Patrick's Church from the vantage point of looking down the aisle with the altar as a focal point. According to White, the painting was his toughest commission to date because of the changing lights inside the church over the period of time it took him to complete the painting. It was particularly difficult, he said, capturing the brilliant colors of the stained glass windows behind the altar without allowing them to overtake the altar itself. These are limited edition prints, four hundred in total, and can be obtained at The White Gallery on Market Street. More information about Steve White and The White Gallery can be found at his web site:

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas, and everyone at the Maysville Kentucky Blog would like to wish you the best of times today and throughout the rest of the holiday season. While in the midst of merry making, if you can take the time to go downtown and have a look at all the wonderful holiday decorations you won't regret it, especially at night. It's a holiday tradition for my wife and I to go out on Christmas Eve night and look at all the lights people have put up around town. When we get home, we have a glass of egg nog. Besides the downtown area which always goes all out, we particularly enjoy whoever it is that puts up the displays in the subdivision across the street from RiteAid. It seems that every year all the neighbors along the street get together to make a wonderful twinkling show and you can view it pretty well from US 68. So make sure you check it out tonight if you get the chance. And remember, please don't drink and drive. It's never worth it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Splendid Country

During the recent Maysville Festival of Books, historical author T. Austin Cumings made an appearance to talk about his book A Splendid Country, which is a historical novel based on his ancestor's journey from the local area in Kentucky to Texas in the early 1800s. A large part of the novel takes place in what are now Lewis and Mason counties, between 1776 and 1821.

From the Publisher:

I had a difficult time editing this book--because I kept getting lost in the story and forgetting I was supposed to be looking for problems. The author's writing style is very smooth. With his family history as a foundation, Cumings is able to tell the story in an almost heartfelt way, while keeping himself distanced as narrator.

The facts behind the family history have been gently molded by the author's talent in conjuring "what-if" possibilities. His creativity is particularly evidenced in his treatment of the relationship between Rebecca Cumings and William B. Travis. His knowledge of history (which is not limited by any means to Texas history) is not forced upon the reader; rather, it subtly weaves into the fictional story and provides a plausible foundation for his plot and subplots.

I especially enjoyed his descriptors and the way his phrasing effortlessly but accurately paints vivid scenes, so much so that we could imagine being there ourselves. A Splendid Country spans a full century, telling of a family's progression from the Ohio Valley and ending up in Texas at its most crucial hour, during the fight for independence. The general history behind it many of us know, but there is nothing tired in this story: It comes at us fresh and alive and open for reconsideration.

As you might be able to tell, I thoroughly enjoyed the book! I just hope I'm lucky enough to be able to edit another from Tim Cumings. I suspect, however, that I'd have to land a job with a major publisher on the East Coast to be able to do so!

If you missed the book festival, A Splendid Country will be available at the Mason County Museum and it is also available online at

Friday, December 23, 2005

Meeting Seeks to Save Covered Bridge

A meeting scheduled for Jan. 12, 5-7 p.m. at the Robertson County Public Library in nearby Mount Olivet will take place to discuss ways to repair and reconstruct the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge. The 131 foot covered bridge was built in 1874 and has since suffered wear and tear, plus abuse in the way of graffiti and carvings. Sections of support pillars have come loose from the foundation, warping the flooring of the bridge. The Robertson County Tourism Commission will discuss how the bridge can be repaired on site so that the bridge can be enjoyed by future generations.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Main Street Photograph from Sandy Sorlien

From Sandy Sorlien, Professional Photographer, as part of her "Main Streets" collection, part of a book she is working on of Main Streets across America. Beautiful work. More information about the photographer can be found at her web site:

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Beary Christmas at Blue Licks State Park

Decorations at the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park dining room are beary interesting this year. Inside the main dining room area is a huge mirror that has been decorated to form a winter wonderland with an ice covered lake. Around the lake there is a Christmas village of miniature houses, churches, a fountain, and a pier complete with a ship. The inhabitants of this tiny village are teddy bears, and there are lots of them. Big bears, small bears, bears of all shapes and sizes complete the decor of the room. The displays will be available through the first of January.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kiss My RSS

Maysville Kentucky Blog Feed: Now you've got a new way to read your favorite blog posts at the Maysville Kentucky Blog. It's called blog feeds and we've recently added two formats for you to choose from. You can either use RSS 2.0 or the Atom format. Sound like a lot of technological gobbledy-goo? Fear not. RSS feeds are as easy to use as surfing the web and works a lot like email. If this is your first introduction to news feeds, simply download and install the free open-source reader at There are dozens of feed readers out there, but you can't argue with free!

The next step is to add the Maysville Kentucky Blog to your list of news sources. Click "File" and then "Add Feed". Enter one of the following URLs as the address:

RSS 2.0

Atom Feed

That's pretty much all there is to it. Click "Maysville Kentucky Blog" in the left panel and it will download all the blog posts from this site. Here's a tip. You can also add other news sources from around the web to the FeedReader software. It will let you know when those news sources have been updated. It is a really great way to keep track of what's going on in the world and your local community.

Monday, December 19, 2005

History of the Bank of Maysville

The Bank of Maysville has a rich history as Kentucky's oldest independent bank. They received their first deposit on June 26, 1835. The bank was actually a branch of the Bank of Kentucky until 1871 when branch banking was prohibited in Kentucky, resulting in a reorganization into the Bank of Maysville. The Bank of Maysville moved into its present main bank location at 20 West 2nd Street, Maysville in 1920. In more contemporary times,1977, the Bank of Maysville was the first bank in the Maysville area to offer 24-hour banking with the use of an ATM.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Maysville Blood Drive

The Maysville Church of the Nativity will be sponsoring a blood drive Friday, Dec. 23, at the Church of the Nativity, Hunter House, from noon to 6 p.m. The church is located at 31 East Third Street.

Individuals ages 17 or older, who weigh at least 105 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. For more information about donating blood, or to find an area blood drive, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Finding Distinctive Holiday Gifts

Among the list of places to shop for distinctive holiday gifts in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article was Sunflower Sundries, a local creator of handmade natural soaps in six varieties including lavender, rose geranium and lemon grass. The husband-wife team of Jennifer Gleason and Jim Lally offer eight varieties of homemade jams. Their whole-grain mustard selection, ground on the farm by hand, includes hot garlic, balsamic, sherry and sweet/savory. Prices range from $6 to $8 per item. For more information, call (606) 763-6827 or visit By the way, have you got your Peppermint Latte yet? While at the Homefront Cafe, ask about their holiday gift baskets and prepaid gift cards.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Peppermint Lattes by Homefront Cafe

You can't beat a hot, fresh cup of coffee on a cold winter's day. Unless, of course, you add peppermint flavor, chocolate, a candy cane dipped in more chocolate, and gourmet espresso. That's what you'll find as one of the Homefront Cafe's holiday speciality drinks this Christmas season. Maysville's full service coffee house is offering these delicious holiday drinks throughout Christmas and New Year's along with homemade chocolates, great food, and a warm atmosphere. Visit their location on West Second street today and check out their web site at:

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Maysville Kentucky Actors and Actresses

Maysville, Kentucky, has lent many stars to Hollywood, the silver screen, and television who were born in the Maysville or surrounding areas. Needless to say, most are familiar with the actor George Clooney who was actually born in Lexington in 1961, but was raised in the Augusta-Maysville area. Some of the others who may or may not be known include:

Nick Clooney, George's father, who appeared in an uncredited role in the 1958 movie The High Cost of Loving, and was born January 13th 1935 in Maysville.

Don Hurst, born August 12th, 1905, a major league ball player who appeared in an uncredited role in Alibi Ike (1935), also born in Maysville.

Lorimer Johnston, born November 2nd, 1858, in Maysville, Kentucky, and wrote, directed, and starred in several films between 1913 and 1940.

Henry Wadsworth, born June 18th, 1897, in Maysville, Kentucky, and star of films between 1929 and 1945.

Betty Clooney, who starred in the "The Robert Q. Lewis Show" after the Clooney Sisters duo broke up and Rosemary went solo, was born the 12th of April, 1931, in Maysville, Kentucky.

Rosemary Clooney, star of "The Stars Are Singing" (1953) and "White Christmas" (1954) was born in Maysville, Kentucky, on May 23rd, 1928.

And most recently, Cindy Hall, star of "Survivor: Guatemala", was born in Maysville, Kentucky, the 28th of June, 1974.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Save the Russell Theater

Recently we wrote about the plans for the Washington Opera house reconstruction and how the committee for the renewal of the Opera house is seeking donations. The Russell Theater on Third Street is also in need of repair and has been seeking support for some time. The Russell Theater, of course, is the Spanish-inspired theater that premiered Rosemary Clooney's first movie "The Stars Are Singing" in 1953. More information about the rescue efforts and how you can get involved can be found at the Rescue the Russell Theater web site:

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sherry Chandler, Kentucky Writer

One of the writers who were able to attend the Maysville Festival of Books recently held at the local Community College was Sherry Chandler, a Kentucky poet who has authored two critically acclaimed books of poetry. Sherry Chandler lives and writes in Ruddles Mill, Kentucky, about five miles north of Paris. Chandler has won the Betty Gabehart Award from the Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference and the Legacies Award from the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and her work has appeared in several magazines. She also authors her own blog which features some of her work, found here:

Monday, December 12, 2005

Fairgrounds Wonderland in West Union

The nearby town of West Union, Ohio, recently became host to a time honored tradition of local residents looking to bathe in the colorful lights of Christmas. For over 30 years, the Rudd family of Adams County has entertained and wowed visitors with their Christmas lights display consisting of millions of twinkling lights. Families every year flocked to their farm near Blue Creek to witness the display and many feel the nostalgia of the Christmas tradition which was regretably packed away in 2000 when the host Carl Rudd retired.

This year, however, the lights are back as part of the West Union Fairgrounds Christmas Wonderland, each weekend through Christmas at the West Union fairgrounds. The event is especially sacred because sadly Mr. Rudd died this past Saturday at the age of 75. His memory is shared by his surviving family and the thousands of people who have benefited from his Christmas spirit.

Open to the public on Friday and Saturdays, 7-10 p.m., through Christmas, the fairgrounds features the lighted displays, carriage rides, a Christmas Gallery of Trees decorated by local schools and community organizations and an indoor Trader Days spot for crafters and vendors to sell holiday goods. Adams County Fairgrounds is located in West Union, off Ohio 41.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Opera House Renovation Committee Seeks Funds

120 years after it was built, The Opera House theater on West Second Street is in need of some serious repairs. The theater has been host to everything from minstrel shows to Broadway musicals. According to the committee, repairs will cost almost $3 million, and they have already raised more than $2 million of that total. The fund-raising effort will continue through March. Contributors who wish to make a gift prior to the end of the 2005 calendar year, should contact Doug Hendrickson, chair of the committee, at 606-564-6846. Donors can spread their gift over a three-year period. Reportedly, the Opera House is the fifth oldest theatre in continuous use in the United States. The first Opera House in Maysville was built in 1853, while a theatre at the current site opened on Feb. 12, 1885. See also: Landmark Washington Opera House Renovations

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Maysville Festival of Books

Maysville Festival of Books will be held today at the Maysville Community and Technical College from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among the authors to be on-hand will be Heather French Henry, David Dick, Ed McClanahan, Sharyn McCrumb and Garry Barker. The event is sponsored by the Museum Center, Maysville Community & Technical College, and The Ledger Independent. Contact 606-564-5865 for information. See Also: Of Woods and Waters: A Kentucky Outdoors Reader

Friday, December 09, 2005

Blue Licks Battlefield Christmas Dinner

This weekend, December 9th and 10th, there will be a Christmas Dinner at the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. Planned activities include dinner and entertainment, featuring Mr. Ron Furr and his Touch of Elvis program. There will also be a variety of music and tribute to Elvis Presley. For more information, contact Paul Tierney at 859-289-5507.

Also this weekend is the River Village Christmas, in nearby Ripley, Ohio. There will be a Christmas Tree lighting, food, fun and activities throughout weekend. For more information about the River Village Christmas, including a schedule of events, contact Fred or Patty at 937-392-4576.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Old Washington Late Night Shopping

Come enjoy the holiday season with Late Night Shopping in Old Washington, Kentucky. Stores will be open until 8 p.m. and some will serve refreshments. Expect to see many new holiday items for sale. Bybee & Hadley Pottery, Cats Meow art, Fiesta Ware (old & new), Antiques, Estate Jewelry, Custom & Antique Lamps, Crafts, Furniture and More. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Contact 606-759-7423 for more information.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rarefied Realism by Local Fine Artist

Local artist James D. Werline was born October 8, 1952 in Maysville, Kentucky, and moved with his mother and father to a farm in Bentonville, Ohio six months later. It was on this farm where he grew up that Werline first found what he still loves to paint: rural landscapes. By the time he reached junior high school, he had his own in-house studio, and was making his spending money by painting in watercolor, an unforgiving medium.

During Werline’s time in Cincinnati, he owned and operated a gallery on Main Street in Amerlia, Ohio. His shop was a showcase for his limited edition prints, his originals, and creative custom framing. Teaming with his wife Dee, Werline made sure that every person’s visit to their shop was a memorable occasion.

Presently Werline teaches and is head of the Art Department at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio. He was a driving force in establishing the Art Department at the college. Always learning from his students, he enjoys and values the teaching aspect of his profession. A promoter of individual students’ careers, he contributes advice and assistance in planning, preparing, and displaying their numerous works. Several of his students have attained professional status under his guidance.

James D. Werline has attained a prominent place in American art. He continues to strengthen his predominance as a watercolorist specializing in “rarified realism,” revealing he power of an element unique to his work: a captivating spiritual quality derived from his softness of stroke and his masterful ability to create timeless, intimate mood through suffusion of light. He continues to publish and distribute his own paintings from his home in Manchester, Ohio with Dee and his son, Drew.

Visit James D. Werline's new web site:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mason County's Ties to the Major Leagues

More than 40 years ago, local resident Herbert Moford pitched in Major League Baseball, playing for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets. This past Saturday, he passed away. Along with Moford, two other baseball players are from the area, including Bill Graham from Flemingsburg and Kentucky Athletic Hall of Famer, Woodie Fryman, both of who played Moford in the past. Graham also played for the Mets and Detroit. Herbert Moford was perhaps one of the most talented local ball players. He once struck out 18 batters at the beginning of a single game. He also pitched for the famous Casey Stengel, who managed the New York Mets, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in 1962. One of Herbert Moford's most memorable pitches was one he threw to a young Hank Aaron who nailed it for his 17th home run.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kentucky Supreme Court Justices

The names Stanley Forman Reed and Horace Harmon Lurton may not be household words, but these two men probably played a greater role in the history of the United States than any other Northern Kentuckians of their eras. Lurton, who was born in Newport, and Reed, a native of Minerva in Mason County, near Maysville, served as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. They are among seven Supreme Court justices who were either natives or adopted sons of Kentucky. The others are: Thomas Todd (1807-26) , Robert Trimble (1826-28), John Marshall Harlan (1877-1911), Louis Brandeis (1916-39), Fred M. Vinson (1946-53) Full Story

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Seasonal Sounds of Raison D'Etre

While visiting the Frontier Christmas in Old Washington this weekend, I was pleased to see the return of the women's trio Raison D'Etre, a three part harmony consisting of Violet Rae Downey, Vickie Ellis, and Roberta Schultz, who walk the street singing old-time Christmas Carols. Last year (or the year before) I bought their CD when I heard them sing and they've still got the gift of bringing holiday warmth with their music. I encourage everyone to check them out at their web site:, especially if you enjoy classic Christmas music.

From their bio:

Violet Rae Downey, Vickie Ellis, and Roberta Schultz are three women from Northern Kentucky who live to sing together. A background in musical theater drives Violet's dramatic sense of song and fuels her incredible range. Vickie combines classical piano training, communications experience in radio and theater, and interest in folk instruments to add spice to arrangements and homey chat to performances. Roberta contributes finger-picking guitar styles, metaphysical song writing and Native drums(including a few that she made) to Raison D'Etre's unique mix.

Close three-part harmonies define Raison D'Etre's style. In a typical performance, the women offer their own compositions about connection, a sense of place, and bearing witness as well as carefully selected covers from Mark Weierman, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Jesse Winchester. Traditional folk songs, a capella swing tunes, and Shaker hymns round out their versatile repertoire.

Juried performers in Kentucky Arts Council's PERFORMING ARTS DIRECTORY, the trio has appeared at key venues in their home state including SINGLETARY CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Lexington, GLEMA MAHR CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madisonville, LEEDS CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Winchester, and KENTUCKY CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Louisville.

Raison D'Etre hosts the popular COFFEE CUP CONCERT SERIES in Northern Kentucky's Behringer-Crawford Museum, Covington. While showcasing the diverse blend of folk, acoustic, jazz and singer songwriter musical heritage of the Ohio Valley Region, the series has also featured such national headliners as Christine Lavin and Bill Miller.

Raison D'Etre showcased at Ohio Arts Presenters Network in Newark, OH in 2003 and 2005 and did a Tricentric Showcase at North East Region Folk Alliance in Monticello, NY in 2004. Three of their songs were recognized(two semi-finalists, one honorable mention) at the 2003 MOVA Songwriting Competition and Arts Festival in Lake Guntersville, AL. Three of their songs were semi-finalists in the 2005 Competition, with Violet's song "I've Got the Heart" making it to the finals. Violet and Roberta received "Judge's Choice Awards" for two of their 2005 entries, "I've Got the Heart" and "Broken Radio."

They were selected as Folk and Bluegrass Showcase alternates for the Performing Arts Exchange 2005 in Memphis, TN and are recipients of the Southern Arts Award from Southern Arts Federation's

The trio holds membership in Folk Alliance and Ohio Arts Presenters Network.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

38th Annual Frontier Christmas in Old Washington

The 38th Annual Frontier Christmas will be held this weekend (December 3rd & 4th) in Old Washington, Kentucky, the scenic and historic pioneer village. The event will be from 10 to 6 on Saturday and Noon to 6 on Sunday. Frontier Christmas activities include craft demonstrations, strolling carolers, bell ringers, museums, food, music and shopping. The event is sponsored by Old Washington in conjuction with the Maysville/Mason County Tourism Commission. For information visit

Friday, December 02, 2005

Maysville's Annual Twilight Christmas Parade

The annual Twilight Christmas Parade is scheduled for tonight in downtown Maysville, Kentucky. The parade starts with a lineup at 5:30 on East Second Street under the railroad bridge. The parade will get underway at 6 p.m. Afterwards, kids can visit Santa at the Conference Center where refreshments will be served. Also scheduled for the evening at the Mason County Auditorium is a presentation of "Gift of the Magi" performed by the Maysville Players and the Mason County Rotary Club at 7:30 p.m and the Homefront Cafe will be serving chili, a cup of mini corn dogs, and hot chocolate, spiced apple cider, tea, cappuccinos and lattes. Try the special Christmas Peppermint Latte with its own chocolate dipped peppermint candy cane.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

William H. Harsha Bridge Background

While writing the article about Louisville's plan for a new suspension bridge, we came across an interesting page from the company that designed the recently built William H. Harsha Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that allows truckers to bypass Maysville on US 62/68. The page contains some photos of interesting views of the bridge and some background information of its construction, including 3D animations of the bridge, wind test models, and more. Also included are construction photos showing workers building the massive bridge. It really is an engineering marvel, but don't take our word for it. Check the site out yourself here: American Consulting Engineers

From the Design Specifications:

*Out to out bridge width of 58'-6" with two 12 ft. traffic lanes and two 12 ft. shoulders.

*The main bridge with a total length of 2,100 ft. including two anchor spans with each being 125 ft. long; flanking spans being 400 ft. in length; and the channel span being 1,050 ft. long.

*A 3-span 311'-10" approach bridge on the Kentucky side is also included in the design contract.

*The main cable stayed superstructure consists of a concrete deck supported by two main 84 to 60 inch deep
steel plate girders with floor beams spaced at 16'-8". The deck consists of precast deck sections with cast-in-place joints and post-tensioning in both longitudinal and transverse directions.

*Steel cable stays are a two plane semi harped system with stays spaced at 50 foot intervals along each edge of the deck.

*Two main towers have a goal post configuration with an upper and lower strut. The towers are 332 ft. tall and are supported on 16 concrete filled drilled shafts. Abutments are conventional concrete units supported by steel H piles.

*All Cable Stayed Bridges have had problems with stay wind gallop when the right combination of light rain and wind occur. With this bridge the stay system is state-of-the-art. A co-extruded high density polyethylene pipe has been used which has a brilliant white outer layer eliminating the necessity to use a tape wrap. The outer layer has a small spiral bead around the pipe to break up air flow when there is light rain and wind to help prevent cable gallop. In addition, stay damping cables are connected between the stay cables with soft neoprene collars to further dampen galloping.