Brent Spence Bridge remains closed after fiery truck crash

November 13, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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As the Brent Spence Bridge remains closed, Ohio and Kentucky officials are reminding truckers to stay off Roebling Bridge.

The bridges carry I-75 and I-71 traffic over the Ohio River, connecting Cincinnati and Covington, Ky.

Officials at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provided updates on the Brent Spence Bridge closure on Thursday, Nov. 12. On Nov. 11, a crash involving two trucks caused a fire, shutting down the bridge. Since then, crews have been working to repair and reopen the bridge.

“At best, the bridge will be closed for several days, but travelers should be prepared for the possibility of weeks,” the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet states in a news release. “Every reopening estimate at this time is purely speculative.”

In the meantime, Ohio and Kentucky transportation officials will be reopening the Roebling Bridge located just a mile down the river from the Brent Spence Bridge. However, that bridge is open to passenger vehicles only.

Police in Covington shut down the Roebling Bridge Wednesday night after spotting large commercial trucks on the bridge. The Roebling Bridge has an 11-ton weight limit. Warning signs are posted near the bridge.

Traffic has been detoured to Interstates 275 and 471. A major crossing on Interstate 75, the bridge closure led to Gov. Andy Beshear signing a regional state of emergency declaration. If needed, Beshear will request federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Since the crash, crews have been working around the clock to repair the Brent Spence Bridge. On Thursday, inspectors examined the damage and collected samples for materials testing. Meanwhile, engineers are designing specific repairs. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is quickly securing vendors, supplies and contractors needed for repairs.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the crash between the trucks occurred at 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday after a truck jackknifed while traveling northbound on the Brent Spence Bridge. A truck hauling potassium hydroxide crashed into the jackknifed truck. Hundreds of gallons of spilled diesel fuel sparked a fire on the bridge.

“Everyone recognizes the importance of the Brent Spence Bridge and the entire I-71 and I-75 corridor,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement. “We are committed –fully committed –to reopening this bridge as quickly as we can, provided it is fully safe for everyone that would cross it. I want to emphasize our need for patience and also planning for your personal and business disruption that’s going to be occurring for at least the next several weeks. We need a little patience as well until we can give you an official timeline.” LL

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Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.