FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What work is taking place on the Brent Spence Bridge?
Why is it important for this work to take place?
This is a routine project that is part of the normal lifecycle of a major structure like the Brent Spence Bridge. 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, regular maintenance has to be performed on public infrastructure to ensure it remains safe for long-term use.
Is the Brent Spence Bridge going to be replaced?
No. The Brent Spence Bridge is a major thoroughfare for both local and national traffic, connecting two states that are critical to the movement of people, goods, and services. The bridge carries I-71 and I-75 traffic over the Ohio River and has four lanes of travel on each of the upper and lower decks. The bridge was designed to carry 80-100,000 vehicles per day; it currently carries twice that volume. The bridge is routinely inspected and is structurally sound. It cannot efficiently support the existing level of traffic without increasing travel times. Current plans call for a companion bridge to the west of the existing structure, but no funding for construction of a new structure has been secured.
Why couldn’t this work be done last year when the bridge was completely shut down for an emergency repair?
How often does this type of work need to be done to ensure the bridge stays in good condition?
Why does this work have to be done now – while the Roebling is also closed?
It is inconvenient to have traffic impacts on two different crossings of the Ohio River at the same time, but work on both structures is being completed as quickly and safely as possible. Work on the Brent Spence Bridge was delayed while work on the Combs-Hehl Bridge was taking place but could not be delayed any longer. The restoration project taking place on the Roebling is an emergency repair for an aging and historic structure and as such, was not able to be planned in advance of the emergency.
How much will the routine maintenance project cost?
North Star Painting Company, an Ohio-based company, was awarded the contract as the low bidder at $35.8 million. The majority of the cost is in specialized equipment and personnel required to clean and paint the main span, as well as the Kentucky and Ohio approaches to the bridge. In addition, to maintain traffic across the bridge throughout the project, crews must also work carefully to keep debris out of the water and the roadway.
Will water traffic on the river be impacted by this work?
The Ohio River will be open to traffic at all times during the project. A containment system is in place to ensure that debris does not fall into the river throughout the course of the project.
Will a truck ban be put in place during this project?
Trucks are encouraged to use I-275 or I-471 to travel around the bridge rather than across it, which will help reduce traffic volume while work is happening and various lane closures are in place on the bridge.