Historic Roebling Suspension Bridge set for spring reopening

The project that closed the bridge in February 2021 was supposed to last just 9 months.
Roebling Bridge preparing to reopen after maintenance project
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 8:07 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - It’s been more than a year since the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge closed to traffic for an extensive maintenance project. Now officials say they expect the bridge to reopen by the end of April.

The historic bridge closed in February 2021 for what was described at the time as a nine-month project to renovate and preserve the 155-year-old landmark.

The bridge closed previously in April 2019 as a safety precaution after sandstone fragments broke from the east side of the north tower. Temporary netting was installed, and the bridge was reopened four months later.

The project that began in 2021 has lasted far longer, twice being extended due to unforeseen issues.

In October 2021, Kentucky transportation officials announced the bridge would be closed for the rest of the year after engineers determined more repairs needed to be made. Then at the end of December, officials delayed the reopening again but set a reopening date of Jan. 24.

Three months later, the bridge remains closed to all but pedestrian traffic.

The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge remains shut down on both sides of the Ohio River...
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge remains shut down on both sides of the Ohio River indefinitely to vehicles and pedestrians due to a crash Tuesday night.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesperson Nancy Wood couldn’t give an exact date for the reopening but said Tuesday KYTC anticipated an April timeframe.

“There’s no definite opening target date yet just because of the nature of this work,” she said. “But one thing we are very committed to is doing this completely, safely, and to preserve this vital connection between Cincinnati and Covington.”

The $4.5 million restoration project has included masonry work and the repair and replacement of sections of sandstone on the north and south anchorages and towers. Other work has included minor deck and sidewalk repair.

Wood explains late in the project timeline engineers discovered deeper masonry stone deterioration in a section of the archway.

”Once you get under the hood of this bridge,” Wood said, “[the engineers] found some more work that needed to be done. That’s what they’re doing, finishing up a punch list of additional items.”

The bridge carried around 8,000 cars per day when it was open to vehicular traffic.

Motorists have resorted to use the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (US-25) and the 4th Street/Veterans Bridge (KY 8) to the Taylor Southgate Bridge (US-27) as a detour.

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