Motorists meet in Covington to talk Brent Spence Bridge plans

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Transportation officials displayed dozens of enlarged photos of the new Brent Spence Bridge renovations to people who attended a public hearing at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center on Wednesday night. About 350 citizens attended the hearing which was designed to educate people about the construction.

"The turnout was great," said Covington City Manager Larry Klein. "350 people was far more than we thought and we saw a lot of residents, a lot of business owners, a lot of stakeholders in the community here and everyone seemed to understand the issues and concerns."

The biggest issue surrounding the project is the exits at Fifth Street in Covington. Traveling southbound on I-75 a motorist will have to exit at Union Terminal, north of Ezzard Charles Drive. If they do not and want to get to Fifth Street in Covington they would have to go all the way to Kyles Lane in Fort Wright, and get back onto northbound I-75 and get off at Twelfth Street. Which is another issue in that motorists traveling northbound on I-75 from Fort Wright will have to exit at Twelfth Street, go through seven blocks of traffic including three traffic signals to get to Fifth Street.

Officials with the transportation department say the main reason for not wanting an exit southbound in Ohio is safety. But the people who spoke not only said it would affect Covington, but also Ludlow, Bromley and even Downtown Cincinnati during Bengals and Reds games and concerts.

"More businesses will move out or shut down. Residents will move out and Covington will become a ghost town," said businessman Jerry Stricker.

"The whole town of Ludlow will get cut off with dire consequences to their financial future," added Steve Frank, a Covington City Commissioner. "Cincinnati has apparently raised a question about our access to the Clay Wade Bailey bridge to the interstate. Well, we are strongly on record in favor of this access and I don't care what they want with their 'toy train' they can keep their boondoggle," he said, referring to the streetcar project.

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