More inspection means more lane closures on Combs Hehl - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

More inspection means more lane closures on Combs Hehl

By Dan Wells - bio | email

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY (FOX19) - Work that began on the Combs-Hehl Bridge this fall will continue on into the near future.

That means more lane closings and delays on Interstate 275.

But did you ever wonder what is the issue is, and why it's taking so long to fix? Not to mention if it's safe to drive over.

Truck restrictions on the bridge were lifted months ago, and a good majority of repairs on the span have already been complete. But there's still work to be done that may affect your commute.

Repairs began on the Combs-Hehl bridge months ago after inspectors found cracks in some of the bridge's steel plates. That's when the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet banned anything bigger than a pickup truck on the eastbound side.

Transportation officials say in all those cases, the original plates were properly designed, but the steel was not tempered to specification. Now, ten more plates have also now been tagged to be replaced.

"It's important. I's part of the safety of the bridge when we did the initial testing back this past fall, "said KDOT spokeswoman Nancy Wood. "About 10 plates out of 1,400 just didn't quite meet standards or specifics."

So an overhaul many of us thought was done will continue.

The bridge was dedicated in 1979 and continues to have repair work and inspections done on it as part of a federal and state mandate to make sure the bridge is safe.

"Yes there are some federal guidelines that are required. It's a safety measure," said Wood. "We are going to keep our eye on those plates and we'll get those replaced sometime by the end of the year. Until then, we will be conducting these monthly inspections on the areas just to keep and eye on them."

Commonwealth officials say that ongoing testing will close one lane on each span sporadically until further notice.

"Everything is safe. Truck traffic is allowed on it. Motorists are allowed on it and we're just out there doing our part to keep the roadway safe for everyone," said Wood.

There's no telling when the repairs will take place. It all depends on the weather.

 

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