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Brent Spence Repairs Awarded to Ohio Company at Cost of $3.1 Million+

Hours after a news conference in which a targeted reopening date of December 23 was announced, state officials said that repairs to the Brent Spence Bridge would cost approximately $3.1 million, and that Westerville, Ohio-based Kokosing Construction Company was awarded the contract.

The bridge, which connects Covington to Cincinnati via Interstates 71 and 75, has been closed since Wednesday morning after a fiery crash involving two semis.

State Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said that there will be additional costs – the exact amount yet to be determined – for ancillary expenses such as traffic control, construction inspection and additional steel.

An in-depth inspection of the bridge, supported by laboratory testing, showed that damage was localized and the structural integrity of the bridge was not compromised.

“The bridge is safe and sound and sturdy. The damage could have been far worse,” Gray said. “This has been confirmed through an exhaustive inspection of the bridge, supported by laboratory analysis.”

The repair project would have been much more complicated if any of the critical steel support components had been compromised, Gray said.

“Once the lab testing told us the critical supports were still strong and not compromised, the repair job became clear from an engineering and construction standpoint,” Gray said.

Engineers from potential repair contractors examined the structure over the weekend. The Transportation Cabinet, which employed an emergency bidding process, accepted Kokosing’s bid Monday.

“We are determined to get the repair project underway as soon as safely possible because of the importance of the Brent Spence to the communities it connects and to the nation’s commerce,” Gray said. “At the same time, we are going to return to the public a safe, sound bridge. There will be no cutting corners.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation authorized up to $12 million in emergency relief reimbursement funding for expenses related to the project.

Needed repairs to the bridge will include replacement of a section of the upper concrete deck, plus steel beams known as stringers that support the deck weight. A section of the lower deck will be milled out and filled with new concrete but does not require complete replacement. Also to be replaced is a lengthy stretch of concrete bridge railing. Beyond those items will be electrical and drainage work and some cosmetic fixes such as restriping the pavement markings.

The crash and fire occurred about midway of the lower, northbound traffic deck of the two-deck bridge, which connects Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky, but also is a critical link in one of the nation’s busiest traffic corridors. Current construction plans do not require closing of the river. River traffic can continue.

-Staff report

Photo via KYTC

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