Saturday, July 15, 2000

Road work closes north lanes of Brent Spence

Traffic rerouted through Covington

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        All northbound lanes of the Brent Spence Bridge will be closed for eight hours tonightbeginning at midnight.

        Traffic will be rerouted through Covington and across the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

        The closure will allow workers to finish an upgraded exit from Interstate 75 onto Fifth Street — a component of the $318 million reconstruction of Fort Washington Way — and restore the previous northbound traffic pattern across the bridge.

        It will not affect I-71/75 southbound traffic across the bridge. The new exit will open later this month along with the rest of the reconfigured highway.

        No official opening date has been set.

        Last weekend, workers had closed the left lane of I-75, creating an extra merge that backed up traffic through Northern Kentucky more than usual.

        On the first day of the new traffic pattern, the delay extended to Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell, a backup of almost 4 miles.

        “Come (next) Monday morning, people will see the original three lanes we had,” said Don Gindling, Fort Washington Way construction manager for the city of Cincinnati. “We're taking down that left lane closure, fixing the signage, and restoring it to the way it was.”

        Those forced to detour tonight will be directed off I-71/75 at Covington's Fifth Street exit to Main Street in Covington and then across the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

        Once across, drivers wanting to reconnect with I-75 will be directed west on Third Street and then north on Gest Street to Freeman Avenue, where they can get back on I-75 north.

        To get back on I-71 north, drivers should take Third Street east to Elm Street and turn left (north). At Fifth Street, go right (east). This will take drivers to exits for U.S. 50 east and I-71 north.

        The intersection of Central Avenue and Third Street also will closed in all directions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.


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