Brent Spence Bridge traffic change planned northbound this weekend
COVINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced Wednesday a significant travel pattern change will be put into place on I-71/75 northbound beginning Friday, Aug. 20, 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.
“We expect to finish work on this current phase, which has the two center lanes on the northbound deck closed, about one week early,” said Wilson. “We’re eager to continue progress to this next phase and want the public to be aware of travel delays while this transition takes place,” he said.
Planned Traffic Pattern Changes for I-71/75 Northbound for Friday, Aug. 20 – Sunday, Aug. 22, weather permitting:
- Weather permitting, beginning at 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 20, 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 until Saturday morning. Once work on the western side of the bridge has been 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 open by 12 p.m., Saturday afternoon.
- In addition, overnight Friday, from approximately 10 p.m. to 4 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 12 p.m., Saturday, the two left (westernmost) lanes of travel on the northbound deck will be open, and access to I-75 and I-71 will be restored.
- Weather permitting, beginning at 10 p.m., Saturday night, travel on I-71/75 northbound will again be reduced to one lane. Access to I-75 and I-71 will remain open.
- By 6 a.m., Sunday, the two left lanes of travel on the northbound deck will be open.
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.
Current design plans call for a new companion bridge, not a replacement bridge
Bob Yeager, Chief District Engineer of KYTC’s District 6 office reiterated that the current maintenance project is important to ensure the long-term viability of the bridge.
“Current design plans call for the construction of a new companion bridge to the west of the existing structure to provide an additional river crossing,” said Yeager. “The existing bridge will remain in use for many years to come. It is safe and sturdy, and our routine maintenance work will ensure it stays that way,” he said.
“We are more than 70 percent complete with the maintenance project on the bridge,” Yeager continued. “This is a routine project that is part of the normal life cycle 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.
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.