Future of 11th & 15th Street Bridges to Be Discussed
Citizens are encouraged to weigh in on what they hope is to become of the bridges across Eleventh and Fifteenth Streets in Covington. A special public meeting hosted by the City of Covington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky takes place Wednesday night (6:00 p.m.) at the Center for Great Neighborhoods on Russell Streets.
The Eleventh Street Bridge closed permanently on February 1 after state inspectors determined that it had deteriorate in condition too much. The Fifteenth Street Bridge has been closed since 2006, though pedestrians still have access to both of the spans that cross railroad tracks and connect Russell Street to Madison Avenue.
But, in a news release, the city states that the bridges cannot be left in place to serve as pedestrian bridges because they do not meet current vertical clearance requirements for the railroad and that both bridges need to be removed.
The city presents options for each bridge:
Eleventh Street Bridge
Option 1: No bridge: Eleventh Street would be a dead-end on both sides of the bridge, essentially creating cul-de-sacs. Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists would not be able to cross the railroad at Eleventth Street. The finished product would be similar to what is seen at Robbins Street, west of Madison Avenue.
Option 2: Pedestrian Bridge: A new bridge would replace the existing bridge in the same location and tie in at the same location on both ends of the bridge. The bridge would be sixteen feet wide and would only accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and emergency vehicles if necessary. New lighting could also be included.
Vehicular Bridge: It was determined by officials that the construction of a vehicular bridge was not feasible because the impacts on the adjacent properties was too great.
Fifteenth Street Bridge
Option 1: No bridge: Fifteenth Street would be a dead-end on both sides, creating cul-de-sacs. Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists would not be able to cross the railroad at Fifteenth Street. The finished product would be similar to what you see at Robbins Street.
Option 2: Pedestrian Bridge: A new bridge would replace the existing bridge. It would be sixteen feet wide and would only accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and emergency vehicles if necessary. The new bridge would extend further east and west than the existing bridge and would require that three properties be purchased by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
Vehicular Bridge: A new bridge would replace the existing bridge and would be fully operational. This option would require KYTC to purchase fourteen properties.
The properties that would be purchased if the Fifteenth Street Bridge is reconstructed into pedestrian-use only are 34 & 36 West Fifteenth Street and 1510-22 Washington Street. If the bridge is reconstructed to accomodate vehicles, in addition to those three properties, 30 & 32 West Fifteenth Street, 118, 120, & 122 West Fifteenth Street, 117 & 119 West Fifteenth Street, and 25, 27, 29, & 31 West Fifteenth Street would also need to be purchased by the state.
Each of the alternatives will be discussed in more detail by staff from the City of Covington and KYTC during the meeting and then there will be plenty of time for questions to be asked, according to the city's news release.
All input and feedback received at the meeting will be used to help the City and State decide which alternative to move forward with, the release said.
Photo: Eleventh Street Bridge shortly before closure/RCN file