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11th Street Bridge to Come Down, Pedestrian Bridge to Go Up

There will be no more vehicles crossing the 11th Street Bridge in Covington. 

On Tuesday, the city commission is expected to approve the removal of the bridge and the replacement of it with a wider pedestrian bridge. The bridge closed two years ago to vehicular traffic. “Based on recent inspections, ongoing deterioration of the structure has continued,” said Rob Hans, Chief District Engineer for Department of Highways District 6, at the time.  “For future safety of the traveling public, the Cabinet made the decision that the closure of this structure is warranted.”

In the two years since, public hearings have been held on how best to proceed with the construction of a new bridge. Should it be open to cars, should it be pedestrian only, should 11th Street be cut off from Madison Avenue entirely as Robbins Street is after its bridge was removed? On Tuesday that question will be answered.

When the new bridge is constructed, it will be an 8-foot wide span for pedestrians only, and will be placed at the same grade the current bridge is placed. The entire project will be funded by federal bridge money, according to the city commission agenda, except for new lighting that will be installed. $1.11 million was allocated for the project for fiscal year 2014 by the Kentucky General Assembly, and $1.5 million was allocated for fiscal year 2015.

Meanwhile, the 15th Street Bridge also remains closed to vehicular traffic. That bridge also received nearly $1.9 million from the General Assembly so that it could be replaced. It is possible that when that bridge is reconstructed that it will be an east-west connector to Madison Avenue from the residential neighborhood with vehicular access. 

At a meeting in the spring of 2013, the City outlined the plans that would require certain properties to be acquired and torn down, one of which could be the Colonial Inn on Madison Avenue.

In addition to removing the bridge, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has requested the removal of "Kentucky State Route 1120" from the portion of 11th Street between Russell Street and Scott Boulevard, as well as Russell Street between 11th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, when the project is completed. Ownership of those roads would be transferred to the City of Covington.

-Staff report * Follow The River City News on Facebook, Twitter, or email us!

Photo: 11th Street Bridge/RCN file