A triple arch with cantilevered multi-use paths has been selected for the Licking River Bridge replacement project following the evaluation of several design options (link opens in new window).

Video credit: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6

The KY 8 Licking River Bridge is a critical connection for commuters, pedestrians, cyclists and freight traveling between growing communities in the cities of Covington and Newport in Kentucky, USA. Built in 1936, the current bridge has exceeded its original design life and has a weight restriction for vehicles.

The replacement bridge is to be built for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) by a design-build team consisting of PCL, Stantec and Rosales + Partners.

The design envisions a 136m-long span formed by three slender arches with a height of 17.7m above the road and supported on V-shaped concrete piers. Its arches act as a physical and visual barrier between vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists, for whom there are two 3.7m-wide cantilevered shared-use paths. The replacement is nearly 61m longer than the main river span of the existing bridge.

The new bridge will carry four lanes and two cantilevered shared-use paths. Credit: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6

V-shapped piers will support the structure. Credit: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6

“The three gracious steel arches with carefully designed V-shaped piers visually connect the arches to the shorelines of the Licking River,” said Miguel Rosales, bridge architect at Rosales + Partners, who created the design. “The arches frame the vehicular lanes and create a gateway experience between the cities of Covington and Newport. The absence of bracing between the arches gives this bridge a distinctly contemporary appearance,” he said.

Render of the triple arch bridge viewed in profile. Credit: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6

With the bridge type confirmed, the design-build team will continue to refine the overall design and move forward with the technical design of the crossing. An updated project schedule is expected in the first quarter of 2024.

The final cost for the bridge has yet to be determined as it is dependent on further design detailing. More information about the KY 8 Licking River Bridge project can be found at KY8Bridge.org (link opens in new window).

“We’re excited to share the final bridge type selection,” said Jim Gray, KYTC secretary. “The arch concept features a signature aesthetic design that considers the surrounding environment, including the nearby historic neighbourhoods of Newport and Covington.”

Render of the bridge in daytime. Credit: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6