Ohio and Kentucky are working together to aggressively pursue future funding opportunities that will support construction of a new bridge, as well as improvements to the existing Brent Spence Bridge and eight-mile corridor. A new bridge is vital to improving this national freight corridor, ranked by the American Transportation Research Institute as second in the nation in their 2022 Top Truck Bottlenecks List.

The new companion bridge to the Brent Spence Bridge will provide an additional river crossing to the west of the existing structure.

In addition to reducing congestion, improving safety, and increasing access to the central business districts and local communities throughout the corridor, current plans call for the separation of local and through traffic. Local traffic will use the existing Brent Spence Bridge; through traffic will use the new companion bridge.

Ohio and Kentucky recently released the proposed lane configurations for the companion bridge and the existing Brent Spence Bridge. Read the July 15 statement from Gov. DeWine and Gov. Beshear.

Proposed Lane Configurations – New & Existing Bridges

The Brent Spence Bridge is the centerpiece of a nationally-recognized corridor for freight and interstate travel that covers eight miles from the Western Hills Viaduct in Ohio to Dixie Highway in Kentucky.

  • The bridge currently carries I-71/75 interstate and local traffic across the Ohio River.
  • Southbound traffic uses the upper deck; northbound traffic uses the lower deck.
  • Shoulder width is one foot on each side.

The design option that was approved in 2012 met the project goals of improving travel and safety by building a new bridge to the west of the existing Brent Spence Bridge.

  • The design included two 14-foot shoulders on each deck of the new bridge, as well as new and expanded shoulder widths on the existing bridge.
  • Interstate and local traffic traveled on both bridges.

The footprint of the bridge is significantly reduced from the option approved in 2012; emergency shoulders are maintained on both the new and existing structures.

  • Interstate and local traffic are separated – the new companion structure carries I-71/75 traffic; local traffic uses the existing Brent Spence Bridge.
  • This provides smoother travel for through traffic and safer access for local traffic to the Covington and Cincinnati central business districts.

In February, Governors DeWine and Beshear signed a memorandum of understanding solidifying the process that will ensure project readiness. The memorandum also directed transportation officials in both states to begin preparing for construction.

Ohio and Kentucky Governors Sign Legislation

A preferred alternative for a new companion bridge was approved in 2012. More information about this decision and the NEPA process are available here.

Contractors who are looking for additional information on the procurement process should click here.