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Update Given on Roebling Bridge, Will Close to Pedestrians , Too

Pedestrians are now also barred from using the Roebling Suspension Bridge indefinitely.

The bridge, which closed to vehicular traffic after a Tuesday night crash, suffered structural damage that is being inspected. On Thursday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said that in anticipation of more intense pedestrian use on Reds Opening Day next week, that walkers would not be allowed to use the sidewalks, either. The Cabinet has since updated its report and has shut down the sidewalks completely.

After observing an increase in pedestrian traffic on the surface of the Roebling Bridge, effective immediately, KYTC said in a news release.

KYTC cited the need to restrict unauthorized access to portions of the bridge not open to pedestrians and to ensure the safety of the public.

This restriction will remain in place until repairs are made.

Barriers are in place.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is in the process of completing an analysis to determine needed repairs to the historic landmark. At this time, engineers with KYTC and consultants are working together to identify next steps to have the bridge up and operational as quickly as possible. A timeline to complete the repairs has not been established.

The KYTC District 6 Office will provide updates when they become available.

According to KYTC, one of the primary vertical members of the bridge was hit by a vehicle late Tuesday night and was distorted and cracked. The section was added in the 1890s by Wilhelm Hildebrand, who was chief engineer of the reconstruction of the then-30-year old span, and was used to strengthen the original structure.

KYTC is analyzing the needed repairs and is working with consultants on identifying the next steps. It anticipated that the bridge would be closed to vehicular traffic for at least a week.

-Staff report

Photo: Roebling Suspension Bridge in winter (RCN file)