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Brent Spence Bridge To Undergo Routine Maintenance

Courtesy of KYTC

Routine maintenance is slated to begin Monday on the Brent Spence Bridge. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says crews will begin cleaning and painting the bridge, weather permitting. The work is expected to last through mid-November. Some lane closures will be necessary.

KYTC says the work was already scheduled and is not related to the fiery wreck late last year that closed the bridge for more than a month.

"This is a routine project that is part of the normal lifecycle of a major structure like the Brent Spence Bridge," says Bob Yeager, chief district engineer of KYTC's District 6 office.

This is just the third time the bridge has been painted. The first was when it was built and again in 1991.

"The average life expectancy of a paint job of this nature is about 20 years," Yeager says. "We've been able to extend that life cycle by performing routine upkeep, but now is the time for a more comprehensive cleaning and painting of the entire structure."

According to the KYTC, it takes more than 35,000 gallons of paint to cover the bridge's over 1.5 million-square feet of surface area. Ohio-based North Start Painting Company was the low bidder at $35.8 million.

Other work includes repairs to the drainage system and signage. Crews were able to get an early start on some of the repair work while the bridge was closed in November and December.

Yeager says the scope of the project would normally take two years. However, "Recognizing the important connection the Brent Spence Bridge provides for many who travel to and through the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, we structured our contract with North Star Painting Company to complete this maintenance work as efficiently as possible. Working in two of the four lanes on both decks 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."

The work will occur in phases as follows from KYTC:

In Phase 1, the two easternmost lanes of the bridge will remain open, and the two westernmost lanes will be closed. As the project progresses, the two westernmost lanes will be open and the two easternmost lanes will be closed.

In addition to the lane closures on the bridge, there also will be several ramp closures impacting access to the bridge. The following ramps will be closed for the duration of the project:

In Ohio

  • The ramp to I-71 southbound from Fort Washington Way
  • The ramp to I-71 southbound from Third St.

There will be no access to I-71 southbound from Downtown Cincinnati.

In Kentucky

  • The ramp to I-71/75 northbound from Fourth St.

Drivers are encouraged to plan their drive, and when possible, use alternate routes to get around the bridge.


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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.