For those of us who have driven Interstate-71/75 between Ohio and Kentucky, crossing the Brent Spence Bridge can be a nerve-racking third of a mile. And if you have to cross each day during rush hour, the trip on the double-decker can be even downright scary. The lanes are narrow, there’s nowhere to pull over and, in places, you can see straight through the grids to the water below.
This year, The Brent Spence Bridge turns 50 years old. Approximately 175,000 vehicles use this bridge each day – double what it was built to accommodate. Federal transportation officials and the National Bridge Inventory have designated the bridge as “functionally obsolete” and police and emergency medical personnel respond to more than 650 accidents and incidents on the bridge each year.
The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project includes construction of a new bridge, rehabilitation of the existing Brent Spence Bridge, and reconstruction of a 7.8-mile segment of I-75 from just north of the Western Hills Viaduct in Ohio to the Dixie Highway interchange in Fort Mitchell, KY. The total project is currently estimated to cost around $2.7 billion.
On the next episode of Focus, Kathy Lehr will learn more about why the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce and the business community are supporting the rebuilding of the I-75 / Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, why transportation is important to local businesses, how long the project will take to complete, how it will affect commuters, the consequences of waiting to repair and replace the bridge and, most importantly, how the project will be funded.
Focus airs at 7:30pm Friday, May 3, on ThinkTV14 and at 12:30pm Sunday, May 5, on CET.