Covington police grapple with gridlock at Clay Wade Bailey Bridge

Covington police grapple with gridlock at Clay Wade Bailey Bridge

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Big rigs are adding to a big mess in Covington as traffic congestion continues to be a problem following the closure of the Brent Spence Bridge.

By mid-afternoon Monday, traffic was already backed up on the Ohio side of the Ohio River with cars and trucks waiting their turn as far as the eye could see. Meanwhile, in Covington, the semis were dipping off at 12th Street and 5th Street, placing them on roads where they’re rarely seen.

Covington police are on the move, keeping things moving.

“If there was one word to describe the last week, what would it be? Chaos,” said Covington Assistant Police Chief Brian Valenti.

The traffic across the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge is putting pressure on a choke point where the bridge meets 4th Street.

Valenti says the traffic is worse during the “waking hours,” but it’s an ongoing issue throughout the day.

The traffic isn’t good for business either. Stadium Liquor Manager Lehna Clark says it took her two hours to get to work Monday. It’s just as bad for customers.

“People don’t want to get out of line and get back in line, so it’s slowing us down a bit just because it’s taking people normally ten minutes to get here, and now it’s taking them an hour and a half to two hours,” she said.

Valenti is urging patience.

“Everyone is having to deal with this, and we’re all trying to deal with it the best we can,” he said. “Everybody’s still trying to find the best and fastest way to get to work.”

Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Jim Gray said Monday all trucks should stay off I-71/75 north of I-275 and should use I-471 instead. It’s not a requirement yet.

Asked if it will be enforced at some point, Valenti wouldn’t rule it out.

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