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Roebling Bridge Fix Could Be Months Away

The Roebling Suspension Bridge between Covington and Cincinnati could remain closed for a couple of months, the City of Covington announced on Wednesday.

The bridge was closed April 17 after sandstone fragments, including one piece large enough to kill someone, according to Mayor Joe Meyer, fell from the east side of the span.

Meyer said at the Covington City Commission meeting Tuesday night that he had talked to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Chief District 6 Engineer Robert Yeager earlier in the day to get an update.

While Yeager was unable yet to provide a specific timetable, Meyer said it was obvious that it would take at least six to eight weeks - if not longer - to figure out a repair plan, get bids, and do the repair.

"We appreciate that state highway officials are working hard to get the Suspension Bridge reopen as soon as possible, but nevertheless we've been taking every opportunity to reiterate the importance of the bridge to Covington businesses and commuters," Meyer said.

Meyer said he was told that the cabinet was coincidentally already planning to address the crumbling sandstone on the towers next spring through an $8 million repair project that is currently in the design phase.

The same consultant now is working on developing "temporary remedies" that would allow the bridge to reopen as soon as possible, the state said.

Both projects are complicated by the 152-year-old bridge's weight limit and its status as a National Historic Landmark.

More than 8,000 cars a day travel the bridge, carrying commuters, shoppers and visitors between Covington and Cincinnati. It's also an important crossing for pedestrians, with foot traffic particularly heavy on game days for the Cincinnati Reds.

-Staff report

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