Dec. 14 event(s) to let Covington learn about, weigh in on bridge project

KYTC/ODOT seeking feedback on pending issues for Brent Spence Corridor revamp

COVINGTON, Ky. – Are you curious how (and where) a revamped Brent Spence Bridge and its completely new companion span will separate local commuters from pass-through travelers?

Do you have thoughts and/or strong feelings about noise barriers, landscaping, pedestrian walkways, and the “look” of the piers and abutments?

Both questions and opinions will be welcome when transportation officials from Kentucky and Ohio host two community engagement events next week to gather feedback from Covington residents and businesses.

The fundamental design of the $3 billion to $3.8 billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor revamp is essentially finished. But many aesthetic elements and other considerations of how the new bridge and its approaches fit within the surrounding community are still being figured out.

“KYTC values public feedback as an important part of the project development process,” said Stacee Hans, project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). “Input from the people who live in and near the corridor will help the project team design the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor in a way that complements local communities.”

Hans said the community outreach meetings are focused on a specific audience -- the broader Covington community.

A series of previous and pending outreach meetings more narrowly targeted neighborhoods in Covington that abut the project: MainStrasse Village, Westside, Peaselburg, Mutter Gottes/Central Business District, and Botany Hills/Lewisburg. Other events have been held or will be held in Fort Wright, Fort Mitchell, Park Hills, and north of the river in Ohio.

Covington Major Joe Meyer said Covington’s residents and businesses should use this opportunity to learn about the project and understand both the short-term impact of its construction and its long-term impact on the local, regional, and national transportation network.

“This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the history of the region, and with its proximity to our community, Covington has a vested interest in continuing to shape its size and look,” Meyer said. “I encourage every resident to familiarize themselves with the project and weigh in on issues that are still being sorted out.”

Meyer praised KYTC for being open-minded and flexible to concerns about the project, including how it’s to be funded, its size, and its impact on Covington. As explained in this June, 2022 release from the City -- “State, Covington reach monumental agreement on Brent Spence Bridge” – Covington has seats on committees that are still making decisions related to noise and air pollution; impact on historic structures; traffic; and aesthetic design of retaining walls, bridge facades, landscaping, and bicycle/pedestrian amenities.

About the meetings

  • Noon to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14.
  • Kenton County Building (Riedlin Schott Community Room), 1840 Simon Kenton Way, Covington.
  • It’s an open-house format, meaning you can show up at any time, but short presentations will be made at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • Registration is not necessary.

Before and after the presentations, attendees can browse exhibits, review project information, ask questions of staff members, and give one-on-one feedback.

Anybody who can’t make the events can also review project information and leave feedback at Brent Spence Bridge engagement.

About the project

The long-discussed Brent Spence Bridge Project aims to improve safety and alleviate highway congestion on Interstates 71-75 as they cross the Ohio River on the double-decker Brent Spence. The bridge was built in 1963 to carry 80,000 vehicles a day but currently carries about double that. Backups affect not only commuters but also trucks carrying freight, since about 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product crosses the bridge every year. The bridge also lacks shoulders.

Details of the project can be found at Brent Spence Bridge Corridor. Generally, it involves:

  • Repairs to the existing bridge that will reduce the number of its lanes to three in each direction.
  • Construction of a new, companion bridge to the west that would include five lanes in each direction.
  • Separation of traffic based on destination, diverting local traffic to the existing bridge and through traffic to the new bridge.
  • Redesigning and upgrading 7.8 miles of I-71/75 from Fort Mitchell, Ky., to just north of the Western Hills viaduct in Cincinnati.
  • Three phases, two of which are entirely in Ohio. The Kentucky phase includes the bridges themselves and will follow a design-build process that begins in 2023.

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