The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) today announced that routine maintenance will take place on the Brent Spence Bridge, beginning Friday, June 23, at 9 pm, weather permitting. Significant impacts to traffic on the bridge and on routes to get around the bridge are expected for approximately two months. KYTC is managing the project, which is part of an ongoing program to maintain and improve the condition of the regional transportation network.
Maintenance work will take place in three coordinated phases
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. Maintenance work will take place in three phases, with two lanes on each deck closed at a time, beginning with the two easternmost lanes, moving across to the two middle lanes and ending with work in the two westernmost lanes. Each phase will take approximately 15-20 days, weather permitting. Some temporary overnight lane closures after this two-month period will continue for another three months.
Beginning on June 23, at 9 pm, traffic will be reduced to one lane for a period of time over the weekend as traffic barriers are put into place. Barrier placement will start on the southbound (upper) deck, then crews will move to the northbound (lower) deck. Two lanes will be open in both directions and the traffic pattern for the first phase of work will be in place no later than Monday morning rush hour.
In addition to the lane closures on the bridge, there also will be several ramp closures affecting access to the bridge. The following ramps will be closed at 9 pm, on Friday, June 23, for approximately two months.
- The ramp to I-71 South from Fort Washington Way
- The ramp to I-71 South from Third Street
- The ramp from Fourth Street in Covington to I-71/I-75 North
- The ramp from I-71/I-75 South to Erlanger/KY 236
Crews will replace the concrete surface on the bridge, upgrade the lighting and drainage systems, repair steelwork and complete other general maintenance tasks.
Some short-term ramp closures will be scheduled on weekends
In order to complete maintenance work on ramps that provide access to and from the bridge, additional closures will be scheduled on a short-term basis over weekends. Up-to-date information will be posted on BrentSpence2017.org as these closures are scheduled. Weather permitting, the first temporary closures are anticipated for June 30 at 9 pm and would last approximately two days.
In Ohio, these temporary closures for the weekend of June 30 would include:
- The ramp from I-75 North to US 50 West
- The ramp from I-75 North to Fifth Street
- The ramp from US 50 East to I-75 South
Work contract structured to ensure timely completion
Bob Yeager, Chief District Engineer for KYTC in Covington, underscored the importance of the bridge for both local and national travel and said that KYTC has taken a unique approach to this work to ensure timely completion.
“Typically, a maintenance project of this size and scope would have significant impacts over the course of an entire construction season,” said Yeager. “Recognizing the important connection the Brent Spence provides for many who
travel to and through the Greater Cincinnati area, we structured our contract with Hall Contracting of Kentucky, Inc., to complete this maintenance work as efficiently as possible. Working in two of the four lanes on both decks around the clock will allow us to maintain reduced traffic on the bridge as maintenance work progresses and restore the full movement of traffic as quickly as we can.”
Yeager also noted that the Brent Spence Bridge was built to support approximately 80-100,000 vehicles per day; currently, it carries twice that volume. “The bridge is inspected annually and is structurally-sound, remaining viable for long-term use,” said Yeager. “Discussions regarding construction of a new bridge, which would add capacity to our regional transportation network, are unrelated to this maintenance project and based on current plans, the existing bridge will continue to be operational whether or not a new bridge is built.”
Plan your drive, know your lane and drive safely
KYTC officials encourage the public to become informed about the impacts that maintenance work will have on traffic by visiting BrentSpence2017.org to learn more about the project schedule and other project information. “Before getting on the road, drivers should plan their route and when possible use alternate routes to get around the bridge,” said Yeager. Traffic information will be provided on project social media channels. In addition, drivers can consult various travel advisory services, including WAZE and OHGO, and should pay particular attention to the digital signage around the region, which monitors traffic information and provides travel times to various destinations.
Project leaders also asked the public to pack their patience when they get behind the wheel. “As always, drivers should use caution, slow down and eliminate distractions when traveling through active work zones,” said Yeager. “We hope the public will be our partner in this work. We’ve done the planning, now we’ll do the work; we need the public to do their part and help us get through this project by being patient with the additional time lane closures will cause and by being courteous to fellow drivers on the road.”
About Hall Contracting of Kentucky, Inc.
Hall Contracting of Kentucky, Inc., has been in business since 1954 and has completed many similar bridge projects for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Hall is the prime contractor who has been selected to perform the Brent Spence Bridge Maintenance Project.
About Burgess & Niple
For more than 100 years, Burgess & Niple (B&N) has led the development of infrastructure in rural and urban regions. Our success is driven by a passion for advancing the built environment with exceptional concern for quality of life, safety and sustainability. Founded in 1912 in Columbus, Ohio, B&N is a nationally-recognized engineering and architecture firm. We have served more than 5,000 clients in the U.S. and abroad, including federal, state and local governments; learning institutions; improvement districts; and a wide range of private sector industries. Our expertise includes transportation, utility infrastructure, architecture, environmental sciences and more.
From 18 offices in eight states, B&N employs approximately 350 planners, engineers, architects, environmental scientists and geologists. Our work spans the world and ranges from complex, urban renewal projects to the restoration of historic bridges. Burgess & Niple’s Louisville office performed routine hands-on structural inspections of the Brent Spence Bridge and is responsible for development of the maintenance plans for the bridge.