The bridge across the Ohio River was badly damaged on Wednesday 11th November when two trucks crashed.

The bridge, which carries Interstate Highways 71 and 75 between Ohio and Kentucky, was closed to traffic in the wake of the crash. Crews worked through the night, Wednesday into Thursday, to clear the bridge of debris and allow access to a corps of about 20 inspectors and engineers.

Brent Spence Bridge following fire

“Everyone recognizes the importance of the Brent Spence Bridge and the entire I-71 and I-75 corridor,” said Kentucky governor Andy Beshear. “We are committed – fully committed – to reopening this bridge as quickly as we can, provided it is fully safe for everyone that would cross it.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) secretary Jim Gray spent yesterday (12 November) at the bridge. “We are taking vigorous steps with the most talented engineers in order to assess the damage and get the bridge reopened to traffic,” he said. “But we know under fully the best case, we have repairs that will take weeks to execute.

The recovery project is moving on multiple tracks at once. While inspectors examine the damage and collect samples for materials testing, engineers are designing specific repairs.

While inspections are under way, KYTC is securing the vendors, supplies and contractors that will be needed regardless of the design specifics of the repair project.

KYTC is working with officials on both the Ohio and Kentucky sides of the river to reopen the historic Roebling Bridge, upriver from the Brent Spence, to passenger traffic. Police closed the bridge to motor vehicles on Wednesday night after large commercial trucks were seen going onto it in defiance of its weight limit and warning signs.