The bridge was closed 41 days late last year following a fiery crash between two trucks in the northbound lanes that caused moderate damage to the lower level, but significant damage to the southbound upper level, including steel beams, which had to be replaced.
This time, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it will be a routine maintenance project to clean and paint the Brent Spence Bridge, and is scheduled to begin March 1, weather permitting. The project, which is scheduled for completion by Nov. 15, will require lane closures on the bridge, as well as the closure of several ramps that access the bridge.
“This is a routine project that is part of the normal lifecycle of a major structure like the Brent Spence Bridge,” said Bob Yeager, Chief District Engineer of the Cabinet’s northern Kentucky office. “Just as you have to perform regular maintenance on your personal property like your car and your home so it stays in good working order, we have to perform regular maintenance on our public infrastructure to ensure it remains safe for long-term use.”
“The bridge was first painted when it was opened in 1963, and it was painted again in 1991,” continued Yeager. “The average life expectancy of a paint job of this nature is about 20 years. We’ve been able to extend that life cycle by performing routine upkeep, but now is the time for a more comprehensive cleaning and painting of the entire structure.”
Over 35,000 gallons of paint are expected to be used to cover more than 1.5 million square feet of surface area, and will be gray, in accordance with KYTC Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction. In addition to cleaning and painting, crews will complete other routine maintenance tasks, including drainage work, signage repairs, and replacing interstate emblems on the roadway surface.
In Phase 1, the two easternmost lanes of the bridge will remain open, and the two westernmost lanes will be closed. As the project progresses, the two westernmost lanes will open and the two easternmost lanes will be closed.
There also will be several ramp closures for the duration of the project:
--The ramp to I-71 southbound from Fort Washington Way
--The ramp to I-71 southbound from Third St.
--There will be no access to I-71 southbound from Downtown Cincinnati.
The ramp to I-71/75 northbound from Fourth St.
Drivers are encouraged to plan their drive, and when possible, use alternate routes to get around the bridge.