COVINGTON, Ky. – Expect huge delays this weekend when northbound traffic on Interstates 71/75 will be reduced to one lane so a new significant travel pattern change on the Brent Spence Bridge can be implemented, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced this week.
The new travel pattern will then remain in place until Aug. 29.
Drivers should pay attention, because under the new pattern, they will need to plan which lane they need to be in before reaching the bridge when headed into Ohio, said Cory Wilson, branch manager for the Cabinet’s Northern Kentucky office.
“Once the work this weekend is completed, the new travel pattern will be in place and changing lanes on the bridge will not be possible,” Wilson said. “Traffic in the far left lane will proceed to I-75 and traffic in the far right lane will proceed to I-71. The two center lanes on I-71/75 northbound across the bridge will be closed.”
No changes are planned for southbound lanes on the bridge, where the two right or westernmost lanes are open and the two left or easternmost lanes remain closed.
The work is part of an ongoing painting and maintenance project on the bridge that is expected to be complete Nov. 15. The Fourth Street entrance onto the bridge northbound in Covington has been closed during the work, although the entrance ramp from Pike Street has remained open.
All the work is weather dependent.
Covington officials are spreading the word on the new traffic pattern to try to alleviate some of the volume of vehicles that are leaving the interstate to avoid backups on the bridge and thus clogging local streets.
Details on the coming changes
This weekend (10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Sunday):
- Travel on I-71/75 northbound will be reduced to one lane.
- Access to I-75 northbound from the Brent Spence Bridge will be closed for several hours for set-up work.
- When that set-up is completed, access to I-75 northbound will reopen and access to I-71 northbound will be closed until 5 a.m. Sunday.
- Overnight Friday (from about 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday), rolling roadblocks will be set up just south of the bridge in Kentucky on I-71/75 northbound to hold traffic in 15-minute increments to allow crews to safely set the next traffic pattern on the bridge.
From 5 a.m., Sunday until Aug. 29:
- Under the new traffic pattern, two lanes will be open.
- If you are in the far left lane, you will proceed to I-75 in Ohio; if you are in the right lane, you will proceed to I-71.
- The two center lanes will be closed, and changing lanes on the bridge will not be possible.
Chief District Engineer Bob Yeager said the maintenance project is more than 50% finished and inspection teams continue to confirm the sturdiness of the bridge.
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