NKY officials declare emergency on I-75 due to conditions following weekend crashes

Updated: Oct. 29, 2019 at 7:28 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Kenton County and Fort Mitchell officials declared an emergency along Interstate 75 Tuesday following four separate semi truck crashes over the weekend.

Fort Mitchell Mayor Jude Hehman and Kenton County Judge Executive Kris Knochelmann jointly declared the emergency on I-75 near Dixie Highway Exit 187.

“Over 70 feet of concrete barrier wall was demolished as a result of the four truck crashes on Saturday,” Mayor Jude Hehman said. “Over 500 feet of barrier wall needs to be replaced and our hope is that by declaring an emergency, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Highway Department will accelerate repairs and remedies for the heavily-traveled section of I-75.”

Officials say temporary concrete barriers have been placed in the median in the area, but they say that stretch of highway remains dangerous.

“We urge extreme caution when traveling on I-75 near and through Fort Mitchell,” said Mayor Hehman. “Reducing speed and maintaining a lane is the best strategy for motorists. We will work to ensure that a long-term fix for this dangerous curve will remain a priority for state and federal transportation officials.”

Many of the crashes involve commercial trucks, which means the drivers having difficulty aren’t always from the Tri-State so they may not hear warnings coming from local police departments about the stretch of road.

“If we get overall traffic, local traffic especially, to slow down through that area, it’s going to slow down the people from out of town just by default,” Fort Mitchell Police Chief Andrew Schierberg said.

He suggests increasing signage leading into the danger zone among other quick fixes.

“What I think can be done and what I think the KY Transportation Cabinet is looking at right now is something to improve the friction on the pavement. That’s something that I think would be a quicker fix and something that I think will make a big difference,” Schierberg said.

Knochelmann’s declaration for Kenton County calls for immediate emergency protective measures to replace the damaged and missing portions of the median barrier.

“I-75 in Fort Mitchell is extremely dangerous to motorists at this time, which creates an emergency situation requiring an immediate temporary remedy while a long-term fix is determined,” Knochelmann said. "Kenton County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management along with the Fort Mitchell Police and Fire Departments was on the scene immediately on Saturday and will take the lead in ensuring public awareness and safety measures during this emergency.”

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