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Two Bridges Across the Ohio River in Cincinnati Closed on the Same Day

Two of the transportation connections between Ohio and Kentucky in the Cincinnati metropolitan area were closed on the same day, leaving one side of the Ohio River cut off from the other.
November 13, 2020, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Cincinnati and Covington
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is visible in the foreground of this photo of the Ohio River where it separates Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky.
Smart Pro Imaging

The Brent Spence Bridge, an important artery for car and truck traffic between Ohio and Kentucky, closed on Wednesday after an overnight truck fire, according to Jake Ryle.

The Brent Spence Bridge is indicative of the massive challenges facing the nation's infrastructure. According to Ryle, "the bridge now carries more vehicles than it was originally designed to carry." Moreover, "the Brent Spence has been listed as 'functionally obsolete' on the federal bridge registry since the 1990s."

The failure of the bridge has Kentucky lawmakers scrambling to make the case for more transportation funding, including a potential bump in the gas tax.

Articles by David Winter and Sam Rosenstiel detail the frustrations the closure will cause commuters in the area.

On the same day as the Brent Spence closure, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge was also closed indefinitely "due to numerous and continued violations of the bridge’s weight limits," according to a statement from the Covington Police included in an article by Quinlan Bentley and Madeline Mitchell.

According to that article, "the Roebling, a historic bridge opened in 1867, has an 11-ton weight limit that was put in place after a 2007 inspection." All indications are that one bridge closure led to the other.

"The Cincinnati Police Department issued a warning Wednesday about the risks involved in driving a heavy vehicle -- such as a large delivery truck or semitrailer -- across the historic John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge while the Brent Spence Bridge is closed for an unknown amount of time," according to another article by Pat LeFluer.

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