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Full Southbound Access to Brent Spence Bridge Returning in Coming Days

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced Friday the reopening schedule that will restore full travel across the southbound (upper) deck of the Brent Spence Bridge, as well as the ramps that provide access to the southbound travel lanes on the bridge.

A routine maintenance project to clean and paint the Brent Spence Bridge began March 1 and required the closure of two lanes of travel across both decks of the bridge and several ramps that provide access to the bridge. 

“This work was detailed and tedious,” said Bob Yeager, Chief District Engineer of KYTC’s District 6 office. “Our crews worked quickly and carefully to complete this project that is part of the normal lifecycle of a major structure like the Brent Spence Bridge,” he continued. “Just as you have to perform regular maintenance on your personal property like your car and your home so it stays in good working order, we have to perform regular maintenance on our public infrastructure to ensure it remains safe for long-term use.”

Yeager added that while crews are working to restore southbound traffic to its original configuration, significant delays are expected and drivers should seek an alternate route, when possible.

KYTC released the following weather-dependent schedule for the reopening of southbound travel:

Saturday, Oct. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 31, weather permitting:

  • Beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday night, travel will be reduced to a single lane on I-75 southbound across the bridge. Only the far left lane will be open. By 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the two left lanes of travel will reopen to traffic.

Sunday, Oct. 31 – Monday, Nov. 1, weather permitting:

  • Beginning at 10 p.m., Sunday night, travel will be reduced to a single lane on I-75 southbound across the bridge. Only the far left lane will be open.
  • In addition, between midnight and 5 a.m., rolling roadblocks will be put into place on I-75 southbound. Law enforcement officers will be in place just north of the bridge on I-75 southbound and will hold traffic in 15-minute increments. Travel delays are likely, and drivers should use an alternate route, if possible.
  • Also, overnight, crews will open the ramp that provides access to I-71 southbound from 3rd in Downtown Cincinnati.

By 6 a.m., Monday morning, the following travel pattern will be in place:

  • All four lanes of travel will be open on the southbound deck of the Brent Spence Bridge.
  • The on-ramp to I-71 southbound from 3rd in downtown Cincinnati will be open.
  • Access to I-71 southbound from Fort Washington Way will remain closed.

Tuesday, Nov. 2 – Wednesday, Nov. 3, weather permitting:

  • Beginning at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, various lane closures will be put into place on I-71 southbound in Ohio between the Reading Rd. exit and the I-471 exit. All lanes of travel will be open by 6 a.m.
  • In addition, between 10 p.m., Tuesday night and 6 a.m., Wednesday morning, rolling roadblocks will be put into place on I-71 southbound in Ohio. Law enforcement officers will be in place at the Reading Rd. exit and will hold traffic in 15-minute increments. Travel delays are likely, and drivers should use an alternate route, if possible.
  • Also, at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday night, crews will reopen the on-ramp to I-71 southbound from Fort Washington Way. Following that, the ramp from I-71 southbound to I-471 will be CLOSED. The I-471 ramp will reopen to traffic by 6 a.m., Wednesday morning.

By 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, all southbound traffic impacts related to the Brent Spence Bridge Maintenance Project will be removed and southbound traffic will be restored to its original configuration.

  • All four lanes of travel will be OPEN on the southbound deck of the Brent Spence Bridge.
  • The on-ramp to I-71 southbound from 3rd in Downtown Cincinnati will be OPEN.
  • The on-ramp to I-71 southbound from Fort Washington Way will be OPEN.  

The northbound reopening schedule is expected to be announced next week.

More than 35,000 gallons of paint were used to cover more than 1.5 million square feet of surface area for the maintenance project. The bridge was painted gray in accordance with KYTC Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction. In addition to cleaning and painting, crews completed other routine maintenance tasks, including drainage work, signage repairs, and replacing interstate emblems on the roadway surface.

-Staff report