Ky Gov. Andy Beshear Announces Two More Excellence Awards for Brent Spence Bridge Emergency Repair Project

Engineering News-Record, American Council of Engineering Companies accord latest honors


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 16, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear today announced two more awards for engineering excellence for the emergency project in which the fire-damaged Brent Spence Bridge was repaired and reopened under budget and ahead of schedule.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) accorded the project a National Recognition Award as part of the council’s 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards competition – the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry.”

In addition, the project was accorded a “Best of the Best” award in the Bridge/Highway category from Engineering News-Record (ENR), widely considered one of the construction industry’s most authoritative publications.

The Brent Spence Bridge, which spans the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati and carries 160,000 vehicles per day on Interstates 71 and 75, was abruptly closed when two semitrailers collided and burned early on the morning of Nov. 11, 2020.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) quickly assembled a project team, including consulting engineers from Stantec and Michael Baker International and a construction contractor, Kokosing Construction Co. An already aggressive schedule – to reopen the bridge in exactly six weeks, on Dec. 23, 2020 – was beaten by a day and the bridge reopened on Dec. 22.

“No one was thinking about future awards at the time. Everyone was focused on getting a bridge that’s critical to our commerce and in the day-to-day lives of our people repaired and reopened as quickly as possible,” Gov. Beshear said. “Still, it’s rewarding to have their work singled out as exemplary. And now, together with our partners in Ohio, we’re equally focused on building a companion bridge alongside the Brent Spence.”

KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said the ACEC and ENR awards were “a great credit to our very innovative engineers and a host of partners, all of whom worked day and night to restore one of the most important river crossings in the eastern United States.”

The emergency repair has also been named a “Project of the Year” by the American Public Works Association and one of the nation’s top 12 transportation projects in the annual America’s Transportation Awards competition held by AAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

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