The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s conceptual rendering for the “Texas Turnaround” at Fourth Street and the interstate.
Proposal creates new route for Fourth Street ramp onto Brent Spence
COVINGTON, Ky. - A plan to reduce accidents on the Brent Spence Bridge by changing where traffic from Fourth Street merges onto northbound Interstates 71/75 in Covington will go before the public next week.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is holding an open house on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, to gather feedback and answer questions about what’s called the “Texas Turnaround,” which will drastically change the Fourth Street ramp.
Covington Public Works Director Rick Davis said the City has been working with the Commonwealth on the proposal for nearly a year, including meetings in Frankfort.
“We think this will greatly reduce the number of accidents on I-75 and the bridge by giving people more space and time to enter the highway safely, merge and change lanes,” Davis said.
The open house runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the KYTC District Office at 421 Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell. Written comments can be sent to KYTC project manager Mike Bezold at Mike.Bezold@ky.gov
People can stop in any time during that period to view exhibits and discuss the project with Transportation staff and design consultant Stantec Engineers, according to a news release from the Transportation Cabinet’s Northern Kentucky office.
Many of the rear-end crashes and sideswipes on the Brent Spence happen because drivers entering at Fourth Street who wish to continue on I-75 have little more than the length of the bridge to cut across several lanes. The quick “weaving action” creates a lot of backups and accidents, Davis said.
The proposal will shut the current ramp from Fourth Street to northbound I-71/I-75 to all but emergency vehicles. Instead, Fourth Street traffic will enter the highway further south by traveling a U-shaped route that sends them to the Fourth Street ramp onto southbound I-71/I-75, the exit at Pike Street, and a new dedicated lane that leads them to circle around to the Pike Street northbound entrance ramp.
That route will give drivers more time and space to merge and reduce backups on the bridge.
The project includes improvements to the Pike Street ramp and the construction of a dedicated lane beneath the interstate at Pike Street, the state said.
“The Texas Turnaround design is fairly common elsewhere in the South,” Davis said.
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