Brent Spence Bridge construction in limelight after shutdown in Louisville

Published: Sep. 13, 2011 at 2:41 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2011 at 9:14 AM EDT
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A traffic headache Monday morning for commuters traveling between Indiana and Kentucky after the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge was shut down. The bridge connects Louisville and Indiana and crosses the Ohio River. Officials say the shut it down after cracks were discovered in the steel. They say it could take three weeks to diagnose the problem and the bridge could be closed for six months.

The Sherman Minton Bridge is very similar to the Brent Spence and that has Tri-State drivers worried about their safety. Kentucky transportation engineers tell FOX 19 that frequent inspections keep the Brent Spence Bridge on their radar for developing problems and the span is still sound.

The closure in Louisville will cause a lot of frustration for commuters. "To go into a bridge and close it down without notice means you have you're inconviencing people because a lot of them wouldn't know until they actually got to the bridge and saw the closed signs," said Bob Yeager, a project manager with the Kentucky Department of Transportation.

When the Brent Spence project begins, delays can be expected as well. "I've never seen a construction project go off with no problems but my hope is, with so many engineers involved and so much time leading up to the event, problems will be minimal,"said Wendell Young, a Cincinnati city councilman and chairman of the subcommittee studying the multi-billion dollar Brent Spence Bridge and infrastructure project. "The construction will be safe. We'll make sure of that. Now, obviously we'll do everything we can to make sure its as safe as possible, but in any construction zone there's always inherent dangers that are associated with that," said Yeager.

The Major Transportation and Infrastructure Projects Subcommittee will discuss the future of the Brent Spence Bridge at its meeting Tuesday morning. It will be held in Room 312 at Cincinnati City Hall at 10:30 a.m.

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