COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear says the target date for opening the Brent Spence Bridge is Dec. 23.
The Nov. 11 fiery crash between two trucks did not compromise the integrity of the bridge, the governor said based on inspections and tests.
As a structure, the Brent Spence Bridge is “still sound and sturdy,” Beshear said on Monday.
“The bridge is safe and sound and sturdy. The damage could have been far worse,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said. “This has been confirmed through an exhaustive inspection of the bridge, supported by laboratory analysis.”
The repair project would have been much more complicated if any of the critical steel support components had been compromised, according to the secretary’s office.
“Once the lab testing told us the critical supports were still strong and not compromised, the repair job became clear from an engineering and construction standpoint,” Gray said.
Officials say the fire only damaged about 200 ft. of the bridge in total.
Crews have already been on-site to inspect what repairs the bridge will need, he explained.
Damaged concrete on the upper part of the bridge will need to be replaced, but the bottom part will need to be milled and filled in, according to Gray.
These repairs will start as soon as possible, Gray said.
Ohio River traffic will not be closed while the repairs are being made, Gray said.
The cabinet secretary announced Monday night the construction contract to repair and reopen the bridge had been awarded to Westerville, Ohio-based Kokosing Construction Co., which submitted a low bid of $3.1 million.
Additional costs not included in that sum include “ancillary expenses” for traffic control, construction inspection and additional steel, a release said.
Friday the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $12 million in funding for the work.
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