Suspension Bridge repair plans to come next week

The Suspension Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for almost two months. 

COVINGTON, Ky. - An announcement on a repair plan that would eventually lead to the reopening of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge should come next week, the Commonwealth of Kentucky says. 

A local spokeswoman from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - which maintains the bridge - told City officials that the state continues to accept bids from contractors for a temporary, emergency fix of the bridge. “We anticipate providing an update by the end of next week,” she said.
The bridge’s roadway and its upriver sidewalk have been closed to traffic since April 17, when sandstone fragments fell from the east side of the bridge’s north tower.
City of Covington officials said they’re eager to hear the repair plan and desperate to get the bridge reopened.
“We understand that the Cabinet has been working very hard to deal with the unique situation with this old, historic bridge. It’s not easy,” City Manager David Johnston said. “But we’ve been reminding them every chance we get that the closure poses a substantial negative impact on our businesses, especially those in the Roebling Point District.”
The bridge is a critical link between Covington and Cincinnati for customers and commuters alike, carrying more than 8,000 cars a day in addition to many pedestrians. Many Covington retail shops and restaurants say their sales have suffered since the closure.
Johnston said the reopening was of particular importance given that the bridge will be closed again next year by the state for a previously scheduled $8 million project. The project, currently in the design phase, is meant to be a more permanent solution to the deteriorating sandstone.
The Transportation spokeswoman said that project is scheduled to be sent out to bid in spring or early summer.
She said the temporary fix has been complicated by the 152-year-old bridge’s weight limit and historic status.
“Because the bridge is a historical landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places, a temporary plan had to be approved by KYTC officials and the State Historic Preservation Office before contractors could begin putting in bids,” she explained.
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