Ohio and Kentucky transportation officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to build a $2.4 billion span to serve as a companion to the Brent Spence Bridge.
To lessen traffic on the Brent Spence, which is over capacity, officials are recommending that a new double-deck bridge be built just west of the existing span. The new bridge would carry traffic from Interstate 75, while the Brent Spence would carry traffic from Interstate 71 and local traffic.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and be completed by 2022.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Ohio Department of Transportation will jointly hold the hearings next week. The first session will be held at Longworth Hall, 700 W. Pete Rose Way, in Cincinnati on April 24. The second session will be held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd. in Covington on April 25.
Both hearings will be held from 5-8 p.m.
Anyone who cannot attend the hearings but wants to offer input may call the project hotline at 513-639-2172.
Some Covington business leaders are upset that the current plan doesn’t include any exits into the city’s downtown. As proposed, motorists on southbound Interstate 75 would have to exit the highway about a mile earlier, near Ezzard Charles Drive in Cincinnati, to reach the Northern Kentucky locale.
When it opened in 1963, the Brent Spence Bridge was designed to carry 85,000 vehicles each day, but it now carries more than 165,000 vehicles daily, an amount that’s expected to increase to about to 233,000 vehicles each day by 2035.