Video portion of this story was produced by reporter Sam Knef
COVINGTON, Ky. — In an effort to improve highway safety in Northern Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) ordered new signs along Interstate-275 and I-71/75 to raise awareness of the hazardous materials restriction on the Brent Spence Bridge. A contractor will begin installing the new panel signs on April 12.
What You Need To Know
- New signs will be installed along Northern Kentucky highways to alert drivers of hazmat restrictions on the Brent Spence Bridge
- The signs are headed to 12 locations along I-71/75 northbound and I-275 east- and westbound in Boone and Kenton counties
- The signage upgrade was prompted by a re-examination of hazmat signage following a fire on the Brent Spence Bridge on Nov. 11, 2020
The plan is to have new or upgraded signage at 12 locations on I-71/75 northbound and I-275 east- and westbound in Boone and Kenton counties. Ground-mounted signs will be installed at three new sites. In the other locations, overhead signs will be replaced or fitted with plaques that say “No Hazmats.”
“This improvement in signage will increase awareness by giving additional notice of the longstanding hazmat restriction on I-71/75 between I-275 and the Ohio state line,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said.
The signage upgrade was prompted by a re-examination of hazmat signage following a fire on the Brent Spence Bridge on Nov. 11. One of two tractor-trailers involved in the crash and fire was carrying a small quantity of potassium hydroxide, a nonflammable corrosive chemical. As it turned out, the amount of chemical was far below the federal threshold for being categorized as a “hazmat” load, and thus the truck was on the bridge legally. But the incident prompted a re-examination of hazmat signage in the area of the Brent Spence Bridge.
“We listened and then we held conversations at the local, state and federal levels regarding the hazmat restrictions in the area,” Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said. “We share the desire to install signage to reinforce the restrictions, which commercial drivers who plan their routes should already know.
“It’s worth noting that the small quantity of potassium hydroxide being transported by one of the vehicles did not contribute to the fire and was well below the federal threshold of what is considered hazardous material. It also bears repeating that it’s every driver’s responsibility to know and obey the rules of the road. But we will do everything we can to provide information,” Secretary Gray said.