Kentucky officials say Roebling repair plan should be announced next week

Kentucky officials say Roebling repair plan should be announced next week
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge will be closed Thursday and Friday, then again Tuesday and Wednesday for inspection, KYTC officials say. (FOX19 Now/Chris Lower)

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Kentucky officials say an announcement should come next week to present a repair plan for the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge.

This comes after the bridge was blocked off in April because sandstone fragments were falling from one of the bridge’s towers.

Kentucky is accepting bids from contractors for a temporary, emergency fix for the bridge, said a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The cabinet maintains the bridge according to the City of Covington.

City of Covington officials say they’re both eager to hear the plans and desperate to reopen the bridge, due to a negative impact on local businesses.

“We understand that the Cabinet has been working very hard to deal with the unique situation with this old, historic bridge. It’s not easy,” City Manager David Johnston said. “But we’ve been reminding them every chance we get that the closure poses a substantial negative impact on our local businesses, especially those in the Roebling Point District.”

The City of Covington says the bridge closure is negatively affecting retail shops and restaurants sales.

They also say the bridge carries 8,000 cars a day and is an important link between Covington and Cincinnati.

Johnston said because the bridge will be closed again next year for construction on a more permanent solution to the deterioration, reopening soon is important.

A Kentucky Transportation official says the bridge’s historic status further complicates the temporary fix.

“Because the bridge is a historical landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places, a temporary plan had to be approved by KYTC officials and the State Historic Preservation Office before contractors could begin putting in bids,” she explained.

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