Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project just got smaller

July 19, 2022

Tyson Fisher


The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is still moving forward, but new plans gives the bridge a smaller footprint than previously designed.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine have announced updated bridge maps detailing new lane configurations and revamped plans showing the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project with fewer property disruptions.

Previous plans for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project were approved by the Federal Highway Administration 10 years ago. Talks about a new bridge have been going on for about two decades.

Initial plans included two 14-foot shoulders on each deck of the new bridge and expanded shoulder widths on the existing bridge. The new bridge was planned to cover nearly 25 acres and span nearly 150 feet in width.

New plans reveal the new bridge at almost half the size of the 2012 footprint. It covers approximately 14 acres and 84 feet in width. Emergency shoulders are widened on the existing Brent Spence Bridge to stow stalled vehicles. Twelve-foot shoulders are provided on the new companion bridge.

Additionally, interstate and local traffic are separated. The new companion bridge will carry I-71/75 traffic. Local traffic will use the existing bridge.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is becoming a reality thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law. Funding has been an issue for the last several years, putting the project on hold indefinitely.

2020 Brent Spence Bridge crash spurs action

In November 2020, the existing bridge was shut down for six weeks after a crash involving two trucks caused a fire.

The crash occurred at 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2020, after a truck jackknifed while traveling north on the Brent Spence Bridge. A truck hauling potassium hydroxide crashed into the jackknifed truck. Hundreds of gallons of spilled diesel caught on fire on the bridge. No one was killed in the crash.

A closure that lasted weeks emphasized the need for a companion bridge that has been a talking point for years. It was enough to finally get the ball rolling for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project.

The corridor project includes improvements to approximately 8 miles of highway and the addition of a companion bridge on the west side of the existing bridge. Both states claim the additional capacity will alleviate congestion and improve safety.

Transportation officials say the bridge is part of a nationally significant freight corridor, which carries an estimated 3% of the nation’s gross domestic product annually.

For more information, visit BrentSpenceBridgeCorridor.comLL