NORTHERN KENTUCKY — President Joe Biden’s third trip to the Buckeye State came as he works with Republicans to push a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill through Congress.
What You Need To Know
- The Brent Spence Bridge serves as the lynchpin of the I-75 corridor that extends from Michigan to Miami
- The bridge closed for six weeks following a truck fire in November 2020
- Area leaders said the traffic delays following the closure were a pain point for those who rely on the bridge
- Some are optimistic that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan will include the Brent Spence Bridge
The Brent Spence Bridge closed for six weeks following a truck fire in November 2020, where the bridge’s importance was driven home.
The Brent Spence Bridge serves as the lynchpin of the I-75 corridor that extends from Michigan to Miami. Mark Policinski, CEO of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments, said that over a billion dollars in freight goes over the bridge every day. But he also described the bridge as a concern for commuters and truckers.
“The bridge is really dangerous. Its functionally obsolete, leads to massive traffic jams. It has to be solved,” he said.
Both Policinski and Covington Mayor Joe Meyer said the traffic delays following the closure were a pain point for those who rely on the bridge.
“All that traffic will go on other existing infrastructure. We learned what that meant last November and December when the bridge was closed because of the fire. Covington was gridlocked. The damage to our business community was immense,” said Meyer.
Meyer said that Covington streets and neighborhoods were also strained due to cars and trucks seeking alternative routes due to traffic jams.
“We want the right help, something that benefits the community, not just help those who want to drive through our community real fast,” said Meyer.
Policinski said that unless something is done, another incident could happen again.
“Even if something catastrophic doesn’t happen, traffic is going to get worse, the delays are going to get worse, and it is going to have an impact on our regional economy,” said Policinski.
Policinski is optimistic that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan will include the Brent Spence Bridge.
“If there is a massive infrastructure bill that goes to roads and bridges, the Brent Spence Bridge will be one of the bridges addressed in the bill. So we are optimistic, we are hopeful, we hope that Washington can get over its partisan nature and come together and do something great for all Americans,” said Policinski.
At 10 p.m. Friday, the bridge will be shut down to one north lane, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Starting on Monday, July 26, northbound drivers crossing the Brent Spence Bridge will be forced to stay in their lane as they cross the bridge and either go north on one interstate or the other as they enter Ohio.