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All lanes, ramps on Brent Spence Bridge fully reopen

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:01 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 7:35 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - All lanes and ramps on both sides of the Brent Spence Bridge are now fully open.

The four northbound lanes and the on-ramp to Interstate I-71/75 northbound from Fourth Street in Covington reopened Sunday and early Monday.

Travel was reduced to one lane overnight on the bridge northbound while crews put up overhead signs and pavement markings, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The southbound lanes reopened last week.

This is the first time both north and southbound traffic has been fully open since March.

Travel on the bridge was restricted as part of a maintenance project to clean and paint it.

The job ended a week ahead of schedule. It was slated to end Nov. 15.

It was the first time in 30 years the bridge was painted.

More than 35,000 gallons of gray paint were used to cover more than 1.5 million square feet of surface area for the maintenance project, according to Nancy Wood, spokeswoman for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

In addition to cleaning and painting, she said crews also completed other routine maintenance tasks, including drainage work, signage repairs, and replacing interstate emblems on the roadway surface.

The Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River between downtown Cincinnati and Covington connects Michigan to Florida along Interstate 75 and is one of the busiest trucking routes in the country.

The bridge was designed to carry 80-100,000 vehicles per day but now, at nearly 60 years old, it currently carries twice that volume, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

It is routinely inspected and is structurally sound, but is known nationally as one of the worst bottlenecks.

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill adopted late Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives could finally bring relief for the bridge.

The current $2 billion plan to fix the Brent Spence is to build a second one to the west of it while improving the existing one.

The project also includes miles of roadwork along the interstates in both Kentucky and Ohio.

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