Brent Spence Bridge emergency repair project receives APWA recognition

Aug. 18, 2021

Bridge abruptly closed on Nov. 11, 2020, after fire damaged a portion of the bridge

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear this month announced that the emergency project to repair and reopen the Brent Spence Bridge has been selected as a Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA).

The Brent Spence Bridge repair was among a select handful of projects the association singled out as exemplifying “amazing collaborative efforts to build and rebuild America’s infrastructure,” according to a press release from the governor's office. It was named Project of the Year in the category of disaster or emergency construction repair less than $5 million.

The two-deck Brent Spence Bridge carries 160,000 vehicles a day across the Ohio River between Covington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati on I-71 and I-75. It was abruptly closed on Nov. 11, 2020, after two tractor-trailers collided about midway of the bridge’s lower deck, causing fire damage to a portion of the bridge. Forty-one days later, on Dec. 22, 2020, the bridge was reopened to traffic, fully restored, under budget and ahead of schedule.

“It would be hard to imagine a more challenging scenario,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Jim Gray said in a statement. “Abrupt loss of a critical connection on one of the busiest commercial corridors in the eastern United States. A global COVID pandemic. And winter weather. We conquered this combination of factors by quickly assembling a great team, being innovative, and then working night and day without letup.”

APWA credited success of the project to “simultaneous efforts on multiple fronts, quick thinking, and innovative project development and procurement used by KYTC and the engineering team,” which included the consultant Michael Baker International Inc., and the contractor, Kokosing Construction Co.


SOURCE: Office of Gov. Andy Beshear