Plan approved to reopen Roebling Bridge by the end of July

Plan approved to reopen Roebling Bridge by the end of July
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is scheduled to open in July, KYTC officials say. (FOX19 Now/Chris Lower)

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - A temporary measure to safely reopen the John A. Roebling Bridge has been approved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

KYTC officials said a contractor will install netting to catch potential sandstone that could break away.

The bridge and east side pedestrian walkway are expected to reopen to traffic by the end of July.

The Roebling Bridge has been closed as a safety precaution since April 17 after pieces of sandstone fell on the roadway and the eastbound pedestrian walkway.

More than 8,000 cars a day travel the bridge, carrying commuters, shoppers and visitors between Covington and Cincinnati. It’s also an important crossing for pedestrians, with foot traffic particularly heavy on game days for the Cincinnati Reds.

“We appreciate the public’s patience while we explored options that would not compromise the integrity of this historic bridge,” said Bob Yeager, chief district engineer for the KYTC Department of Highways District 6 office. “We now have a plan and timeline in place and will work diligently to get the bridge back open to traffic.”

Performing emergency work on a 152-year-old historic bridge is a more extensive process than traditional bridge work due to preservation requirements. Along with KYTC officials, the State Historic Preservation Office had to approve the plan.

KYTC officials said a restoration project addressing routine maintenance, including permanent repairs to the sandstone towers and pedestrian walkways, is currently in the design phase with construction estimated to start in the spring of 2020.

Motorists can continue to use the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (U.S. 25) or the Fourth Street/Veterans Bridge (KY 8) to the Taylor Southgate Bridge (U.S. 27) as a detour until the work is complete.

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