‘There will be no cutting corners’ on Brent Spence Bridge project, KY transportation secretary says

Brett Spence Bridge
Brett Spence Bridge(WXIX)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:10 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said there will be no cutting corners on the Brent Spence Bridge project.

The bridge has been shut down since a crash involving two trucks and a fire on Wednesday, Nov 11.

One of trucks was hauling potassium hydroxide and an unknown amount of diesel fuel.

The lengthy fire damaged the upper deck of the bridge, which connects downtown Cincinnati and Covington over the Ohio River and holds the southbound lanes of Interstate 71/75.

Steel beams were delivered Tuesday to Frankfort, Kentucky, where Bottoms Engineering & Services president Drew Thompson said fabrication will take place before going to the construction site.

Gray said when possible crews will work around the clock to make repairs.

Demolition of portions of the concrete and steel that will be replaced will begin Friday, Nov. 20.

The bridge carries about 160,000 vehicles per day. The secretary said the bridge itself is safe as ever but there is an awareness of the issue associated with the capacity.

Gray issued an order to alleviate congestion on streets with the closure of the bridge prohibiting commercial traffic from using local roads.

“Safety is job number one,” he said. “There will be no cutting corners on this project.”

Needed repairs to the bridge will include the replacement of a section of the upper concrete deck, plus steel beams known as stringers that support the deck weight.

A section of the lower deck will be milled out and filled with new concrete but does not require complete replacement.

Fixing the bridge will cost about $3.1 million and take until Dec. 23, Kentucky state transportation officials say.

The bridge will remain closed in the meantime.

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