Traffic and accidents increase on Ohio River bridge

Brent Spence Bridge
The 1960's built Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River that connects northern Kentucky with Cincinnati is shown, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, from Covington, Ky. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A bridge that carries highway traffic across the Ohio River near Cincinnati has been serving tens of thousands more vehicles a day than it was designed to handle.

Time and traffic are wearing on the Brent Spence Bridge, which is frequently cited as a location where major infrastructure upgrades are needed, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

It is increasingly showing rust and cracks, but maintenance officials maintain that it remains structurally sound.

“And we are committed to keeping it that way,” said Bob Yeager, chief engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District Six, which oversees maintenance of the 53-year old bridge. “But you’ve got two interstates converging and diverging at one end and that creates issues and traffic patterns we just can’t fix overnight.

The Brent Spence was made to handle 80,000 vehicles in 1963, and the addition of a fourth lane in 1985 brought that capacity to 120,000. But the most recent data indicate the bridge had daily traffic of over 185,000 vehicles in 2015, nearing a record amount.

That has meant more crashes there, too — usually at least two per week.

Accidents reached an all-time high in 2015, when there were 121 collisions along the span. Crashes on the Brent Spence were up 52 percent between 2010 and 2015 in comparison with the previous six years.

Local transportation officials have yet to identify a long-term solution to correct the bridge’s safety and congestion issues. The newspaper reported that’s due in part to the ongoing dispute on how to pay for such a fix.

An initial proposal to remedy the Brent Spence’s woes estimated that it would cost approximately $2 billion to fix the existing bridge and build a new one alongside it.

Keep checking WDTN.com for the latest news, weather and sports. To get alerts for breaking news, grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. You can also sign up for email alerts here.

Don’t miss another post on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest breaking news

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s