Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary (KYTC) Jim Gray today updated progress being made to repair and reopen the Brent Spence Bridge, which carries Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River and is a critical corridor for interstate travel and commerce.
“We’re now past the midpoint of this project to repair and reopen the Brent Spence Bridge,” Secretary Gray said. “Major visible progress to restore the affected upper deck starts tomorrow when contractors pour a new layer of concrete. We’ll be going from construction to completion in the next two weeks.”
The Brent Spence Bridge, which spans the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati, has been closed since a fiery truck collision on Nov. 11. Inspections began the same day and an emergency project to repair and reopen the bridge started the following week. Prime contractor, Kokosing Construction Co., of Westerville, Ohio, has a target reopening date of Dec. 23.
Secretary Gray provided the following updates today:
Concrete pouring began today – first, for a new barrier wall on the lower deck of the two-deck bridge. Pouring of a new section of traffic decking on the upper level is scheduled for Thursday. The last of the reinforcing steel bars for the upper deck were set earlier this week.
The new concrete will require about a week to “cure” – harden– during which crews will prepare for the final concrete pour for a new barrier wall on the upper deck and a new layer of concrete on the bottom deck scheduled to occur next week.
Secretary Gray issued a reminder that his official order on traffic remains in force until the bridge reopens. The order provides for a single lane of I-71/75 to remain open north of the I-275 interchange to give passenger vehicles access to downtown Covington via 12th Street and 5th Access also is permitted to commercial vehicles making local deliveries.
Gray also reiterated that repair of the bridge is necessary not only to restore this important regional connection, but to ensure the long-term viability of the bridge, as well as the strong partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
“The Brent Spence was designed to carry approximately 80 – 100,000 vehicles per day; it carries twice that amount. We appreciate the collaboration with our partners at ODOT as it relates to managing traffic during the closure as well as moving towards a new companion bridge that will provide additional capacity across the Ohio River.”