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Brent Spence Bridge Repairs on Track for Dec. 23 Reopening

The Brent Spence Bridge is still scheduled to reopen on December 23, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said Wednesday.

The state is three weeks into a six-week repair plan.

The bridge, which connects Covington to Cincinnati via Interstates 71 and 75, was closed last month following a fiery crash involving two semis.

The closure has resulted in significant traffic disruption. The bridge is estimated to carry around 3 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) each year. Now, commercial vehicles and everyday commuters alike are forced to find alternate routes to, through, and around Cincinnati. 

Gray said Wednesday that contractor crews have removed the fire-affected portion of the upper deck of the bridge and new steel support beams have been placed. 

"We literally have all hands on deck as crews work around the clock to restore the bridge to its safe and sound state," said Gray. "The project remains on track as activities continue this week to prepare for the installation of the new upper deck." 

Secretary Gray provided the following updates:  

  • Early this week contractors finalized installation of the beams and prepared for a new concrete driving surface. 
  • Activities this week include the installation of: 
    - metal deck pans where concrete will be poured and serve as a platform for workers on the bridge; 
    - rebar (a grid of steel bars) to reinforce the concrete once it is poured;
    - and steel connections that tie the deck and barrier wall for added durability.
  • The work currently taking place is not temperature-sensitive and inclement weather should not affect the work schedule. 

Meanwhile, Interstate 71/75 traffic heading through the region is directed via signed detour onto I-275 and alternative crossings on I-275 and I-471. One lane of traffic remains open on I-71/75 between I-275 and downtown Covington for local traffic passenger vehicles.

However, heavy traffic continues to flow through Covington as drivers seek access to alternative bridges like the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge or Roebling Suspension Bridge, or the Taylor-Southgate Bridge in Newport.

“We can’t wait for the bridge to reopen, and we appreciate how quickly KYTC set in motion the needed repair,” Covington City Manager David Johnston said. “I know the whole region is watching intently.”

-Staff report