American Bridge-Paducah McCracken Co. Riverport Authority Announcement
August 16, 2021
Greater Paducah Economic Development, in partnership with the Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority, is pleased to announce American Bridge Company, in coordination with Jim Smith Contracting Company, will be constructing significant portions of the new $63.6 million Smithland, KY bridge at the Riverport Authority and create 30 jobs during the next eighteen months.
American Bridge will be utilizing a portion of the Riverport’s facility and equipment to construct sections of the bridge on barges. The fabricated sections will then be transported to Smithland, KY via the Ohio River and assembled. American Bridge is utilizing the Riverport due to its strategic location and equipment infrastructure. “Our Port strategically sits within our nations’ 25,000 miles of inland waterways and serves as a major asset to our entire nation, including our good neighbors upriver at Smithland” stated Craig Clymer, McCracken County Judge Executive.
City of Paducah Mayor George Bray also noted how important the river industry is to our overall economy. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the expanded capabilities of the Riverport Authority and sets us up for future success.”
“Knowledge, experience, and the ability to effectively work with multiple entities ultimately enabled Tim Cahill and his team to secure this project. The Riverport team worked seamlessly together to ensure the navigational and operational requirements were timely met for our community. Tim is passionate about our Riverport and is a tremendous asset to our community”, stated Bruce Wilcox, President of Greater Paducah Economic Development.
Tim Cahill, Executive Director for the Riverport, stated “Our Riverport team looks forward to working with the American Bridge organization on this infrastructure betterment project for Western Kentucky. I would like to thank Congressman Comer and his staff for their engagement and assistance in securing this opportunity for the Riverport and the community. The expedited response in conducting the necessary due diligence assessments for this project by the U.S. Coast Guard Office Paducah, and U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers offices in Louisville and Newburgh is also greatly appreciated.”
Congressman James Comer noted “I was glad to work with local economic development leaders, the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority, and American Bridge Company to facilitate conversations with federal agencies so that needed construction of the Smithland Bridge can progress. This project is tremendously important to safety and economic development in Livingston County and the region, and our efforts to expedite construction will have lasting effects on the quality of infrastructure in West Kentucky.”
In a joint statement, Brian McReynolds, Vice President-Jim Smith Contracting and William (Bill) Felker, PE, Area Manager-American Bridge Company stated “Jim Smith Contracting and American Bridge Company are looking forward to working together, along with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, to deliver this long-overdue project. We are pleased to have secured a lease for the world-class facilities at the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority and we can’t wait to get construction started.”