13 Dec 12
Kentucky and Ohio sign Brent Spence Bridge agreement
The governors of the US states of Kentucky and Ohio have signed an initial cooperative agreement to build a new crossing of the Ohio River to relieve the burden on the Brent Spence Bridge.
The agreement describes in broad terms how their two states will cooperate to build the new bridge, which will link Cincinnati in Ohio and Covington in Kentucky. US transportation secretary Ray LaHood joined governors Steve Beshear and John Kasich for yesterday’s announcement.
The structrual type is still to be determined but the selected road arrangement is for a two-deck crossing that would carry all of Interstate 75, plus southbound lanes of I-71 and three southbound lanes of local traffic. It would be adjacent to the Brent Spence Bridge, greatly reducing the load now being shouldered by the exising crossing.
The two-deck Brent Spence, which opened in November 1963, today carries the entire load of both I-71 and I-75 and two-way local traffic. Though structurally sound, it is classified as ‘functionally obsolete’ because of its narrow lanes, absence of emergency shoulders and limited visibility on its lower deck.
Under the selected alternative design, the Brent Spence would undergo renovation and remain in service to carry two northbound lanes of I-71 on its upper deck and three lanes of northbound local traffic on its lower deck.
A federally required environmental assessment has already been carried out and resulted in a ‘finding of no significant impact’ by the Federal Highway Administration in August 2012.
The memorandum of agreement outlines remaining duties and responsibilities of each state, including the establishment of a bi-state management team to oversee the project.