Reopening date of damaged Ohio-Kentucky bridge

A collision between trucks and resulting chemical fire last week damaged the bridge that is a major freight route through the Midwest and beyond.Officials in Kentucky say that drivers will have several more weeks of detours before they can once again use a major bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio. Repairs are made on the double-decker span that was damaged in a truck collision and fire last week. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says that the target date for reopening of the damaged Ohio-Kentucky bridge is set for December 23.

Kokosing Construction Company of Westerville, Ohio, has been awarded a $3.1 million contract to start repairs immediately.

“This damage could have been far worse,” Beshear, a Democrat, said. “We had a sturdy bridge before the crash on Wednesday, and we will have one again.”

Twelve million dollars in federal emergency funds will go toward removing and replacing damaged concrete in the bridge’s upper deck, as well as installing new steel beams, said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray.

“These funds will help the safe and timely repair of the Brent Spence Bridge, which is such an important transportation link between Kentucky and Ohio and one of the busiest freight corridors in our nation,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

What happened?

A truck hauling potassium hydroxide and an unknown amount of diesel fuel crashed into a jackknifed truck, catching fire, at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday on the northbound deck of Brent Spence Bridge, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Covington police said. The blaze took more than two hours to extinguish. No one was injured

What detours are available?

Until Ohio-Kentucky bridge repairs are completed, truckers and others will have to use one of several alternative routes. Traffic is being routed off onto northbound I-71/75 at the I-275 in Kentucky exit until further notice.

  • I-275 WB to I-75 NB or I-275 EB to I-471 NB and then to I-71 NB
  • I-71 SB traffic is being detoured to I-471 SB and then to I-275 WB
  • I-75 SB traffic is being detoured to I-275 WB
  • Additional detour options in and around Cincinnati include I-471, I-71, I-74 and I-275, and U.S. 50, but expect heavier than normal traffic
  • Local traffic can use I-471 (Daniel Carter Beard Bridge) between Cincinnati and Newport, the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (U.S. 25), and the Taylor Southgate Bridge (U.S. 27)
  • Local passenger vehicle (noncommercial) traffic may also use the John A. Roebling Bridge (KY 17). Heavy trucks and buses are prohibited on the bridge