COVINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet today announced Monday a significant travel pattern change will be put into place on I-71/75 northbound beginning Friday, July 23, weather permitting.
Cory Wilson, Branch Manager for KYTC’s District 6 office said while crews are working over the weekend to put the new traffic pattern into place, significant delays are expected and drivers should seek an alternate route, when possible.
“Beginning Friday night, and continuing until early Sunday morning, travel will be reduced to one lane northbound and access to I-75 and I-71 will be impacted,” he said.
Wilson also cautioned drivers about the upcoming traffic pattern noting that northbound drivers will need to plan their drive and know their route before they approach the bridge.
“Once the work this weekend is completed, the new travel pattern will be in place and changing lanes on the bridge will not be possible. Traffic in the far left lane will proceed to I-75 and traffic in the far right lane will proceed to I-71. The two center lanes on I-71/75 northbound across the bridge will be closed,” he said.
Planned Traffic Pattern Changes for I-71/75 Northbound – Friday, July 23 – Sunday, July 25:
- Weather permitting, beginning at 10 p.m., Friday, July 23, travel on I-71/75 northbound will be reduced to one lane.
- Also at 10 p.m., Friday, access to I-75 northbound from the Brent Spence Bridge will be CLOSED. Access to I-75 northbound from the bridge is expected to be closed for several hours.
- Once the set-up work on the western side of the bridge is completed, crews will reopen access to I-75 northbound and then access to I-71 northbound will be CLOSED. Access to I-71 northbound is expected to be closed until 5 a.m., Sunday morning.
- In addition, overnight Friday, from approximately 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., there will be rolling roadblocks on I-71/75 northbound. Law enforcement will be in place just south of the bridge in Kentucky and will hold traffic in 15-minute increments to allow crews to safely set the next traffic pattern on the bridge.
By 5 a.m., Sunday morning, two lanes of travel will be restored, and the following traffic pattern will be in place:
- The far left lane on I-71/75 northbound will be open for drivers to access I-75 northbound in Ohio.
- The far right lane on I-71/75 northbound will be open for drivers to access I-71 northbound in Ohio.
- The two center lanes will be CLOSED. Changing lanes on the bridge will not be possible. If you are in the left lane, you will proceed to I-75; if you are in the right lane, you will proceed to I-71.
This traffic pattern is expected to remain in place through Sunday, Aug. 29, weather permitting.
No changes are planned for the southbound travel lanes. The two right (westernmost) lanes of travel on I-71/75 southbound are open; the two left (easternmost) lanes of travel are closed.
Crews continue to make steady progress and the project remains on schedule
“We are more than 50 percent complete with the maintenance project on the bridge,” said Bob Yeager, Chief District Engineer of KYTC’s District 6 office. “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, we have to perform regular maintenance on our public infrastructure to ensure it remains safe for long-term use.”
The project is expected to be completed by Nov. 15, 2021, weather permitting.
Onsite inspectors confirm bridge safety
As work progresses, inspectors are onsite daily, inspecting the steel structure to ensure the current work is performed to KYTC standards and that the bridge is in quality condition. “We are incredibly pleased by the reports we are receiving from the inspection team who is combing through every inch of the bridge while the maintenance work occurs. They continue to reiterate the structure is sturdy, it is safe, and our maintenance work will ensure it stays that way,” said Yeager.
Drivers are encouraged to plan their drive, and when possible, use alternate routes to get around the bridge.
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 traffic 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 expected to remain in service for many years to come.