Transportation Cabinet Foils Possible Theft of Historic Marker
Paducah, KY- (Aug. 16, 2013) A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) bridge inspector may have foiled the theft of a metal placard from a monument dedicating the Old U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter in memory of revolutionary war hero George Rogers Clark.
On July 29, the inspector was on the old bridge to document it for the state’s inventory list. While there, the inspector discovered the bolts securing the metal plate to the concrete monolith had been loosened.
“We believe whoever did it planned to return later to steal the metal portion of the historic marker,” KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer LeFevre said.
While the metal plate has since been taken off the pedestal and stored at the KYTC District 1 Office to be safeguarded. LeFevre said the attempted theft is typical of issues facing highway crews across the region and the state and indicative of a larger problem.
“Over the last several years we’ve had metal drain gratings and various railings stolen from bridges. We’ve had hundreds of signs disappear from our roadsides. We’ve had copper wiring stolen from bridge navigation lights, and the lights themselves taken. We even had steel beams stolen from under a county bridge a few years ago,” LeFevre said.
Police are still seeking leads on the theft of navigational lights and wiring – valued at $50,000 -- from the KY 453 Canal Bridge at the northern entrance to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area near Grand Rivers.
“This is an ongoing problem statewide,” LeFevre said.
LeFevre is asking the public and area recycling yards to report anyone who brings in materials that do not appear to be from a legitimate salvage operation.