Bold design sought for Brent Spence Bridge replacement

In the coming weeks six design alternatives for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement will be narrowed to three.  From there Ohio and Kentucky's respective Departments of Transportation will decide on the final bridge design.

The new bridge will eventually cost somewhere between $2-3 billion and relieve traffic from the existing congested and unsafe river crossing.  The OKI Regional Council of Governments estimates that some $400 billion worth of commodities travel across the bridge every year presently, with an estimated $815 billion crossing annually by 2030.

As the project moves forward in the coming weeks and months, some project members are concerned about the lack of public engagement thus far given the large scope of the project and the long-standing impact the bridge's design will leave on the community.

"This bridge will leave a major impact on the region for decades to come," said Miguel Rosales, President, Rosales+Partners.  "I am glad the city leaders and residents will help guide the selection of the final bridge design in the months to come."

To date, the cable-stayed bridge designs have been the most popular in online voting along with an arched bridge design similar in appearance to the Daniel Carter Beard "Big Mac" Bridge that carries I-471 traffic across the Ohio River on downtown Cincinnati's eastern edge.

"This is the number one priority for our region because the Brent Spence Bridge is a safety hazard and a major choke point for two interstates," said Brian Cunningham, OKI spokesperson, in a previous interview with Soapbox Media.

Once engineering and environmental studies are completed, the construction and development of the new bridge will take several years and create the largest double-deck bridge in the world, and one of the highest capacity bridges anywhere.  The new bridge will carry six driving lanes on each of the two levels of the bridge for I-75 and I-71 traffic over the Ohio River.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
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