Suspension Bridge ‘fix’ under way

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Work will require periodic closures of remaining walkway
 
COVINGTON, Ky. - The temporary fix that will allow the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge to reopen until a more permanent repair begins next year is underway this week, the state says.
 
Scaffolding and netting are being placed on the bridge in hopes of reopening it by the end of this month, according to a news release distributed this afternoon by the Northern Kentucky office of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
 
Once the scaffolding is in place, the contractor will chip loose pieces of sandstone off the north tower, requiring periodic closures of the downriver pedestrian walkway between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, the state said.
 
Netting will then be installed along the bridge to catch any additional sandstone pieces that might break off. Following that, the structure will reopen to the public, the state said.
 
The bridge’s roadway and its upriver sidewalk have been closed since April 17, after pieces of sandstone suddenly fell from the east side of the north tower. The downriver walkway has remained open.

Covington City Manager David Johnston said the City and its restaurants and shops near the Ohio River looked forward to the work’s completion. 

“We really want that bridge to be open,” he said. “It’s critical to the health of our businesses.”
 
State officials said the emergency work on the 152-year-old historic bridge required a more extensive process than traditional bridge work due to preservation requirements. The innovative netting plan uses a belting and rigging system to hold the nets in place, meaning nothing will be bolted into the bridge. 
 
A related restoration project addressing routine maintenance, including permanent repairs to the sandstone towers and pedestrian walkways, is in the design phase with construction estimated to start in the spring of 2020.
 
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