I75/I71 Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky closed

Grimley1968

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There was a massive fire on the Brent Spence Bridge a few days ago that shut it down indefinitely for repairs. Engineers have determined there is no major structural damage, but there is damage to the road bed that has to be repaired and tested before reopening. This is the bridge that both I75 and I71 use to cross the Ohio River between Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. It could be a while before it reopens. It will someday also need to be replaced. An alternative is to take I-275, but that is a pretty long detour. If you wait until it's too late to try other routes, you may be redirected to the Roebling Bridge as a detour, which is much, much older than the Brent Spence Bridge. It's beautiful but not very modern and has weight limits. If you're comfortable getting off the interstate, here are some directions to cross the Ohio River in both directions using an alternate bridge, and it might not take too long.

I71 southbound in Ohio: take exit 1B (left exit for downtown Cincinnati) as you enter the tunnel. Once you exit the tunnel you're on 3rd Street. Do not take the usual 71/75 onramp which would put you on the closed Brent Spence Bridge. Stay on 3rd Street for a few blocks until you come to a left turn for Highway 42/127, which puts you on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge across the Ohio River. On the Covington, KY end of the bridge, turn right onto W. 4th St. This street will bring you to a 71/75 South onramp in a couple of blocks.

I75 southbound in Ohio: take exit 1E (for 7th Street in Cincinnati). Take the first right you come to, which is Central Avenue. Stay on this street a few blocks. Turn right on 3rd Street. Turn left for Highway 42/127, which puts you on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge across the Ohio River. On the Covington, KY end of the bridge, turn right onto W. 4th St. This street will bring you to a 71/75 South onramp in a couple of blocks.

I71/I75 northbound in Kentucky: take exit 192 (for 5th Street in Covington). Take 5th Street a few blocks to a left turn on to Main Street. This takes you straight to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge across the Ohio River. On the Cincinnati end of the bridge turn right on to 2nd Street. To get on I75 North, turn left on Elm Street and then left on 4th. Follow the signs to the I75 onramp. To get on I71 North, stay on 2nd for a few blocks and eventually an I71 onramp will be on the left.

Hope this helps until Brent Spence reopens.
 

Grimley1968

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Just saw on the news that the target reopening date for the Brent Spence Bridge is now 12/23. Don’t be surprised if that target gets pushed back.
 

Rob562

Well-Known Member
Google Maps has the bridge marked as closed through February. (Probably an arbitrary date to make sure it's closed well into the future) Presumably Waze is similarly marked, so if you use either for navigation they'll know to avoid it.

Once it reopens, those apps are usually good at clearing the block quickly.

-Rob
 

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