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New York Times: Brent Spence Among 7 U.S. Problems in "Urgent Need of Fixing"

The New York Times highlighted the Brent Spence Bridge in a Friday profile of what it called "Seven Infrastructure Problems in Urgent Need of Fixing."

The article was prompted by President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan which looks to improve the nation's bridges, roads, and more.

The Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington to Cincinnati via Interstates 71 and 75, is the main photo in the online version of the Times article. 

Here is what the Times wrote:

President Barack Obama stood at the base of this bridge in 2011, describing legislation that would help improve it. In 2016, President Donald J. Trump also made assurances to replace the structure.

Yet the bridge has remained a source of frustration. Rusty and creaky, it has been listed as “functionally obsolete” in the federal bridge inventory since the 1990s, and it has a history of bottlenecks and crashes.

There is a $2.5 billion plan to fix the bridge and build a new one alongside it, but in Covington, Ky., some have expressed worries about the proposal. The mayor told The Cincinnati Enquirer that it was an “existential threat,” citing the size of the proposed bridge (some traffic would still cross over the old one, as well).

Mr. Biden’s plan vows to fix the nation’s 10 most economically significant bridges but has not specified which ones those are. “If there is any project eligible, this would be it,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, told local reporters at a news conference on Wednesday. “Hopefully somewhere in the bowels of this multitrillion bill, there’s a solution.”

The Brent Spence is considered to be functionally obsolete due to the amount of daily traffic it carries, which is nearly double for its original design.

The bridge was completely shut down for six weeks late last year after a fiery crash involving two semis.

It is currently restricted again now through November as part of a maintenance and painting project.

-Staff report

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