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Report Recommends New Cincinnati Bridge

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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An additional bridge spanning the Ohio River may be required to improve traffic safety and flow between Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, but funding for the project remains uncertain.

Recommended plans also include an east-west bypass that would run through the southern ends of Kentucky’s northern-most counties.

Transportation Study

The yearlong Brent Spence Strategic Corridor Study, spearheaded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at a cost of $2.1 million, proposed a new bridge that would run alongside the already-in-place Brent Spence Bridge, which currently carries daily more than twice the vehicles it was designed to.

The proposed bridge would cost $2.6 billion if completed by 2024, and is part of the study’s overall focus on comparing five different alternative bypass routes. According to Mark Policinski, chief executive officer of Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the study settled the debate about whether or not the region did in fact need a new bridge.

Sixflashphoto, CC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The year-long Brent Spence Strategic Corridor Study, spearheaded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at a cost of $2.1 million, proposed a new bridge that would run alongside the already-in-place Brent Spence Bridge, which currently carries daily more than twice the vehicles it was designed to.

Bypass options would cost more than the bridge, up to $5.3 billion, and would only reduce traffic on the Brent Spence by 10 percent by 2040.

The Eastern Bypass, one of the alternative recommendations, would run through the southern portion of Northern Kentucky into Ohio. According to USA Today, transportation officials labeled the idea unfeasible, due to its $5 billion price tag.

According to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, it remains “imperative that we stay focused on the economic development potential of a bypass. To that end, I am requesting that a planning study for the Kentucky portion of an eastern bypass be included in the next highway plan.”

Bridge Details

The new double-deck bridge proposed in the study includes six lanes total for I-75—three lanes for northbound traffic and three lanes for southbound traffic. Drivers would have to choose their route before crossing the bridge, noted WXU, which would reduce the need to change lanes while on the bridge, therefore increasing safety. The additional bridge would also relieve increased traffic congestion for the burgeoning area.

Other modifications suggested in the study include widening the I-71/75 from Turfway Road north to the Brent Spence Bridge project, and relocating the Fourth Street entrance ramp onto I-75 1,500 feet south, to Pike Street. This would divert Fourth Street traffic onto other local bridges.

Even with the study’s findings, funding remains an issue, with no plans mentioned in the study.

“We look forward to working with our federal and state leaders to find viable funding to bring these projects to reality,” noted the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Government; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

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