Updates :


Blackford Veterans Memorial Bridge makes debut into the 21st century

NewNovember 26, 2005

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.

August 28, 2005

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.

May 31, 2005

Memorial Set

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 dspoon@vci.net

April 17, 2005

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 dspoon@vci.net

Brick Application

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 project.

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 Braves 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.

November 28, 2004

UCHS Gives Vet's a Helping Hand

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 Aarron Girten.

Instructor Marlin Drury's electrical class:  Joe Hargrove, Blake Lingerfelt, Derek Omer, John Nixon, and Curtis Wright.

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.

January 22, 2004

$250,000 approved for Blackford Bridge

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 year 2004.             -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

Hooray!  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 personnel. 

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 Report.

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. 

October 24, 2003

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 appreciated.

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 Co. 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 dspoon@vci.net

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 possible.

PDR Engineering, Inc, of Louisville, KY has been selected to inspect the bridge.



Note:  If you would like further information or want to make any comments on the Blackford Bridge Project, please contact Brenton Witherspoon at:  dspoon@vci.net or 270-965-3878.











Copyright 2006 Blackford Veteran's Memorial Bridge Peoject. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/29/06.