UPDATE: Brent Spence Bridge Closed For Extended Time; Detours Announced

This comes after two trucks were involved in an early morning accident that resulted in a large fire on the bridge.

Photo by the Ohio Department of Transportation. 

Update published November 12 at 12:50 p.m.:

The Ohio Department of Transportation, along with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced the following detours:

  • I-75/71 NB traffic from Kentucky is being detoured at I-275 WB to I-75 NB and I-275 EB to I-471 NB and I-71 NB.
  • I-71 SB traffic is being detoured to I-471 SB and I-275 SB.
  • I-75 SB is being detoured to I-275 WB.
  • Detour onto I-471, I-71, I-74 and I-275 and U.S. 50 but expect heavier-than-normal traffic.
  • Local traffic can use I-471 (Daniel Carter Beard Bridge) southbound into northern Kentucky and 4th St. Veterans Bridge (KY 8), the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (U.S. 25), and the Taylor Southgate Bridge (U.S. 27).
  • The John Roebling Bridge (KY 17) is closed due to weight limits.


Update published November 11 at 2:01 p.m.: 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says it could be days possibly weeks before the Brent Spence Bridge reopens to traffic. 

Beshear said in a media briefing this afternoon that Wednesday morning's accident on the I-71/75 Brent Spence Bridge damaged visibly damaged the bridge and its concrete decking. 

Bridge inspectors are on site but due to the extremely high temperatures of the structure, they have not begun the inspection. Gov. Beshear added that inspectors will not be asked to complete their inspection until it is safe to do so. 

With the inspection pending, Beshear said its too premature to speculate the impact the fire has had to the bridge.

"The bridge, at best will be closed several days," said Beshear. "But we should be prepared for more disruption, potentially significantly more disruption." 

Beshear added that the state is working closely with transportation officials and Ohio Governor Mike Dewine to get the bridge back into service. 

He also urged employers to allow their employees to work from home if possible.

"This is a very important bridge, not just for the region but for the nation, and we are fully committed to getting it back into service. But the safety of the public and of our and Ohio’s employees is absolutely critical. In the next hours, maybe a little longer, we need your patience. That patience is necessary to make sure we don’t send anybody to do the inspection or to clean up the debris until we know they will be OK."


Original story published at 10:51 a.m.:

(Covington, Ky.) – The Brent Spence Bridge is shut down for an extended period of time after a two-vehicle accident that caused a huge fire.

Covington Police responded to the northbound lanes of Interstate 71/75 on the bridge around 2:45 a.m.

Upon arrival, two trucks were fully engulfed in flames. The Covington Fire Department worked to extinguish the flames, however the fire continued to burn for more than two hours.

Police say one of the trucks was transporting a chemical called Potassium Hydroxide which contributed to the heat and duration of the fire.

The fire caused damage to the southbound lanes of the bridge on the upper deck, and all traffic has since been cleared off the bridge as crews continue to work the scene.

Luckily, no injuries were reported and there is no danger to the public from the burning of the Potassium Hydroxide.

Currently, both north and southbound lanes of the bridge are shut down and will be for an extended period of time as crews inspect the bridge. In addition, all river traffic has been halted on the Brent Spence Bridge. 

Covington Police project that the bridge will remain closed for the rest of today, at a minimum - if not longer. 

“It will take some time for inspectors to determine any damage to the structure of the bridge, to have crews clear the wreckage and then repair any damage to the bridge itself. We are asking everyone to plan ahead and find an alternative route to and from the downtown Cincinnati area,” Covington Police said in a statement.

Traffic is being diverted to I-275 eastbound to I-471 north. Motorists should expect increased traffic on these interstates.




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