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Northbound Brent Spence Bridge Reduced to One Lane Through Weekend

There will be just one northbound lane available for drivers on the Brent Spence Bridge following a worker's injury Thursday afternoon.

The northbound side of Interstates 71 and 75 was completely shut down in Covington after an employee with the North Star Painting Co. fell from a containment platform to the closed portion of the lower deck of the bridge.

The Brent Spence is already restricted in both directions as part of a months-long painting and maintenance project that is expected to last till November. Now it will be further restricted through the weekend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6 Office said.

The worker who fell was transported to a local hospital and released. 

North Star Painting Co. was hired by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to complete the routine maintenance project on the Brent Spence Bridge. 

State officials are investigating the cause of the fall to ensure workers' safety, requiring the further restriction.

“The safety of those working on the bridge is of highest priority to us,” said Bob Yeager, District 6 chief district engineer. “We are working with the appropriate law enforcement and workplace safety personnel to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened. We will provide an update on when two-lane travel will be restored, as well as additional information regarding the incident, as soon as possible.”

The bridge, which connects Covington to Cincinnati over the Ohio River via the interstates is a significant corridor for local commuters and national commercial trucking operations.

The bridge was completely closed for six weeks at the end of last year after a fiery crash involving two semi trucks, requiring millions of dollars in repairs. 

The current Brent Spence painting and maintenance project was planned prior to that closure which was a major disruption to traffic flow across the region and in Covington in particular, sending significantly more vehicles to the city's streets and forcing the state at one point to close the Roebling Suspension Bridge to prevent large trucks from accessing that historic span which also connects Covington to Cincinnati.

Incidentally, the Roebling Bridge is now closed for its own restoration project.

On Thursday afternoon, heavy traffic flowed slowly through downtown Covington, reminiscent of the backups from last year.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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