Jump to content
buildingcincinnati

Cincinnati: Brent Spence Bridge

Recommended Posts

Brent Spence repairs resume

July 20, 2007 | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation is alerting motorists to this weekend's construction on the Interstate 75 approach to the Brent Spence Bridge.

 

The southbound right lane of I-75 will be closed from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Monday.

 

Last weekend, a lane closure backed up traffic to Mitchell Avenue and led to delays as long as two hours.

 

Suggested alternate routes include I-75 to westbound I-275 (exit 16B) to southbound I-75, or I-75 to the Norwood Lateral (Ohio 562, exit 7) to southbound I-71 to southbound I-75.

 

•  See map of alternate routes

AKA...Hey morons who won't get out of your darn cars, be on the look out for LONG delays near the bridge!!!  If you don't believe the warnings...you're an idiot, and your opinion no longer is valid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brent Spence sound, but obsolete

BY QUAN TRUONG | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

August 2, 2007

 

CINCINNATI - Like Minneapolis, Cincinnati has numerous bridges crossing a major river.

 

The busiest of those is the Brent Spence Bridge.

 

When news of the collapse of an entire span of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis into the Mississippi River broke Wednesday night, it drew attention to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s years-long effort to replace the obsolete Brent Spence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the Enquirer smoking?

 

The bridge problems in the Silver Bridge were not detectable using the technology available at the time. The unique eye-bar design of the span featured a "chain" of eye-bars. The heat-treated carbon steel eye-bar broke, causing other eye-bar members to subsequently fail due to undue stress. The span was designed for 20,000 lb., but the daily traffic loads were in excess of 70,000 lb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I heard about the I35 incident, the first thing that came to mind was the Brent Spence.

 

Maybe this will light a fire under the asses of our federal government as far as funding is concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to change subjects but I believe 12 BILLION A MONTH is spent in Iraq.

 

The f%$#&% govt needs to step back and decide what really is a priority.  A half century old interstate system is one of many things that need to top this figgin list.    How many people need to die before they decide to fix things.   

 

Oh,  this didn't happen in DC.    They SOB's probably don't even know about it yet!

 

Another example of the disconnect between OUR GOVT and the people. 

 

Hopes and Prayers go out to all the great people of Minneapolis from everyone at UO!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note that this article was published before yesterday's bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

 

US Congress eyes fix for crumbling infrastructure

Wed Aug 1, 2007 3:54 PM ET

http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?type=bondsNews&storyID=2007-08-01T195432Z_01_N01372177_RTRIDST_0_USA-INFRASTRUCTURE-BONDS.XML

 

CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Roads, bridges, mass transit and other aging U.S. infrastructure would get a face-lift under legislation introduced in Congress on Wednesday that would create a system to identify, evaluate and help finance projects.

 

Citing high-profile infrastructure meltdowns, such as last month's steam pipe explosion in Manhattan, bill sponsors U.S. Senators Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, and Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, said it was time to upgrade for the 21st-century economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>When I heard about the I35 incident, the first thing that came to mind was the Brent Spence.

 

What came to my mind first is that people would instantly bring up something in their localities to worry about.  The cause of this collapse hasn't been determined so if in fact human error of some kind was the cause, then what does everyone here think?  If there was a structural fatigue issue with this bridge in Minnesota, why would one assume that bridges with much different designs in our area might suffer a similar fate?

 

The interstate system has something like 55,000 overpasses with maybe one collapse every three or four years (the recent one in Oakland comes to mind, then the earthquake collapses in SF and LA awhile back), a pretty damn good showing.  And has been discussed in other threads, military spending today is dwarfed by social services, welfare, food stamps, etc.   

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the cause has not been determined for the collapse of the Interstate 35 river span. It did have a rating of 50 out of 120, which meant that there were structural deficiencies that needed to be repaired, but it was in no danger of collapse. Stress fractures and roadway deck issues do not threaten the integrity of the span typically, unless it is allowed to accelerate and affect other portions of the bridge -- creating a domino effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, what came to mind for me was the possible near-miss in NE Ohio on I-90, back maybe ten years ago...I don't remember the details, but I thought it was the I-90 bridge over the Grand River, and painters or something noticed some major cracks...experts were called in, and the highway was shut down for a couple months...

 

I'm sure lots of people on here can correct my assured inaccuracies - but that's what I thought of...

 

 

EDIT: Answered my own question on noozer's Ohio Bridge Safety thread...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ladislas Segoe actually argued VERY hard for the 71/75 connector to be further north from the river.  He suggested that the Liberty St. corridor would be a better fit.  He felt that it was a sin to essentially wall off a river city from it's river...obviously too logical and thoughtful for traffic/highway engineers to understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  No one fully understood the effect that automobiles would have on cities, even in the 1940's.  This is almost funny now, but it's absolutely true:

 

  The Cincinnati Metropolitan Master Plan of 1948 showed a preliminary idea of what the highway system would look like. That was in the pre-Interstate days, and the highways were named Northwest Expressway, Northeast Expressway, etc., but I will refer to them by their common names today.

 

    Here's what the plan showed in 1948:

 

    I-74 was shown essentially in its present location.

    I-75 was shown essentially in its present location, north of the Ohio River. It did not enter Kentucky.

    I-71 was shown essentially in its present location, north of the Ohio River. It did not enter Kentucky.

    I-275 followed Springdale Road from I-74 to I-71, roughly 1/4 of the circle that it is today,

    and,....

 

    (Drumroll)

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

    There was no Brent Spence bridge. I-71 and I-75 connected directly to the Suspension Bridge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one fully undestood the effect that automobiles would have on cities, even in the 1940's.

 

What's sad is that many people still don't understand the effect that automobiles have on cities and overall quality of life issues.  From time to time you'll hear people murmur about building a second loop outside of the 275 beltway?!?!?  Wake up losers...the results have come in and we all know what to expect to happen when you build another beltway -- more sprawl and decentralization of social capital.

 

*shakes head in TOTAL disgust*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in my opinion the Norwood Lateral could have been I-71 and then a four-lane parkway could have been built south from that area parallel to Duck Creek which could have run into Central Parkway.  There was actually a proposal for rail in the median of I-71 since that was where part of the surface running of the subway loop was to have been built. 

 

I also don't think that I-471 should have been built at all and that routing I-71 on it doesn't make much sense because the route is 5 miles longer, I-275 is very hilly between I-471 and I-75 (perhaps the hilliest stretch of ring road in the country), and a lot of I-71 southbound is headed for the action between I-275 and the river.  Percentage-wise, there isn't much traffic originating in Louisville or Lexington and heading to Columbus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a short-lived discussion on a second loop around Cincinnati, to ease congestion. It later became part of the Interstate 74 proposal that was once planned for OH 32, but was later shifted to the AA Highway in Kentucky (and would have picked up the outer loop south of Interstate 275).

 

It was just a fantasy. That's all.

 

Now there was discussion a few years ago on a toll road in northern Kentucky that came after the second loop proposal, that would have connected many suburban communities. But that died fast as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now there was discussion a few years ago on a toll road in northern Kentucky that came after the second loop proposal, that would have connected many suburban communities. But that died fast as well.

 

Are you talking about this one:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=6685.msg66695#msg66695

 

I didn't think that had much of a chance, either.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Brent Spence jerk?

 

And no, not in that way :P There should be normal vibrations from a bridge, especially if it carries a load that the Interstate 71/75 does. I've been on others where the steel girders are very long with minimal support columns underneath, and the bridge deck vibrates to a large degree with just automobiles alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

    ^---- If you get out of your car and walk across the bridge, you can probably feel it shake under the automobile load. This is true of any bridge, particularly the longer spans.

 

    Go to the Kentucky side of the Brent Spence and lean up against the concrete piers. You can feel those move as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday, the ramp from the 8 Ball (KY 8) to 71/75 northbound was closed. It appeared they were inspecting it. Whatever they were doing, they also used a fire hose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truck bans are rare

Idea of diverting trucks faces a rough road

BY CINDY SCHROEDER & MARGARET A. MCGURK | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

 

COVINGTON - Spurred by the collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis, Covington Mayor Butch Callery is lobbying to keep big trucks off the overcrowded Brent Spence Bridge - a proposal fraught with legal, economic and practical challenges.

 

Callery wants to allow only trucks doing local business to use Interstate 75 inside the I-275 beltway. Although unlikely, such a ban would not be unprecedented.

 


Why bans are rare

A question-and-answer section on the Web site of the Brent Spence project (www.brentspencebridge corridor.com) says:

 

"Enforcing a truck diversion has been tried here and elsewhere and found difficult to implement. It is against ... policy to forcibly divert trucks, which pay considerable road use and fuel taxes, from using any part of the roadway system, except for hazardous cargo routes."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

feel good that bridges deflect under traffic loads...if they didn't they would crack.

Same thing if you are up in the top floors of a skyscraper, and feel it move; thats the way its designed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Banning trucks would be an almost impossible pipe dream. While there is an alternate route for through-traffic, Interstate 275, it is far too long and can become equally as congested. Interstate 471 is another, but it wouldn't be able to handle the sharp increase in truck traffic, either.

 

Trucks pay their share for interstate highway maintenance, and although I would like to see that share a bit higher, there is no reason that they cannot be stopped from using an interstate highway span for the sheer reason of congestion. If that was the case, we would be removing them from the Capitol Beltway, interstates around New York City, and etc. Only viable reasons, such as HAZMAT cargo in a tunnel, or height restrictions, can be an effective reason to ban trucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as right now, I think a toll booth in Covington should be built. This would effectively make trucks use either I-471 or I-275. It would also raise money for a new bridge.  The toll would only be for going north and would require new access ramps to be built for Covington.  This would also allow for a fourth northbound lane on the bridge as that stupid ramp from Covington makes the right most lane currently.  Of course this would cause more delay, esp in the morning, electric toll lanes could be built along with a HOV bypass(free!) such as San Fran has for the Bay Bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That wouldn't be possible for several reasons. Since the interstate highway and bridge was constructed with matching federal funds at a specified ratio, the state would need to pay back the original sum of the federal allocation, including inflation. A toll booth at the bottom of a 6% downgrade, where traffic is at a stand-still during morning rush and at an unacceptable level-of-service during daylight hours, would just create a parking lot on the Interstate pretty much any time.

 

A toll booth would indeed send more to Interstate 471 and other local roads. Interchanges before the Brent Spence would be used to divert the toll booth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mayors want info on truck ban

BY CINDY SCHROEDER | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

August 20, 2007

 

CRESTVIEW HILLS - Kenton County mayors agree that something needs to be done about traffic jams and crashes on the crowded Brent Spence Bridge.

 

But they stopped short this weekend of endorsing a proposal to keep most big trucks off the bridge that federal officials have described as "structurally sound but functionally obsolete."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I-71 and I-75 should be "thru-truck-free" inside 275. I remember 71 when trucks were banned in the tunnel during FFW construction and it was great!  Also bloody wooster is truck-free and it is a pleasure to travel on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the Fort Washington Way event was a totally different matter. How do you propose we service the industries that rely on truck traffic? Or downtown businesses that rely on shipments via truck? Where would the trucks go? Interstate 275 -- where it is far longer and much more costly to drive on? Local roads to get to local destinations?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you propose we service the industries that rely on truck traffic? Or downtown businesses that rely on shipments via truck? Where would the trucks go?

"thru-truck-free"

 

I am not saying for local trucks!  :-P This would be a ban on trucks that go through our city to get somewhere else. They don't contribute to our tax dollars but they pollute, congest our inner city.  They can take the long way around!!  :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a decent idea, but is just about impossible to enforce.  There are so many different kinds of businesses inside the loop that require truck service...it would be extremely difficult to decide who is allowed in the loop and who isn't.  The only way you could accomplish this is by having some sort of controlled access.  Where they have a card or something that they use to get inside the loop.  That ID would only be available to those making stops inside the loop.  But once again, VERY difficult to oversee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AND EXPENSIVE!.....    The main focus of any federal funds coming in now MUST go to rehab and replacement of the aging highways.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Answer: Put big signs that flash and say NO SEMI TRUCK THRU TRAFFIC USE I-275 $500. FINE

 

Have the highway patrol do stops like they do for weight measuring or something legal like that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's impossible to enforce and wholly illegal, since the Brent Spence Bridge and surrounding interstates were constructed with both federal and state funds, and trucks pay a premium in gasoline taxes for the right to use the roads. The roads are not structurally deficient or not in a way that trucks cannot use them, and congestion issues aside during rush, there is no reason that trucks cannot use the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally have no problem driving next, near, or around trucks. Most of the problems with truck accidents have more to do with cars panicing and making stupid mistakes, following too closely, cutting off trucks and then braking, etc. My dad drives over-the-road and complains of these problems regularly. I experience these issues also driving around town. This is not to say, however, that trucks do not make mistakes, they just often get too much of the blame.

 

Trucks have every legal right to drive on the roads. They pay MORE than the thru cars. If anything, the engineers who built I-75, I-71, and I-275 should be blamed and punished for poor planning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the bridge going north today and some tires were rolling around in the middle lanes. I was in the right lane, with a bunch of semis in the other lanes. Shit completely hit the fan behind me since there's no place to pull over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ So what they pay a premium. The bulk of it is paid by cars. And also the trucks are paid to the state that they are registered or has a business location in. It not liek all the trucks that used it paid for the bridge. Hell how old is the bridge? 30+ years? The bridge has been paid for. Most of the truck companies were not even in business back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You apparently have no idea how our highway system was funded and paid for. Our state and federal gasoline taxes pay for the continual construction and maintenance of all interstate facilities and federal U.S. routes. Banning a certain class of trucks for bogus reasons as I cited earlier is illegal. The prior reason was not because of the Brent Spence Bridge, but because of the dangerous S-curve along Interstate 71/75 in Kentucky after a rash of accidents due to trucks having trouble negotiating the curve at high speeds. When the curve was reconstructed, the ban was removed.

 

"So what they pay a premium. The bulk of it is paid by cars."

 

No, what they pay is their fair share. Trucks exert far more pressure on concrete and asphalt, and deteriorate roadways much more rapidly than cars. A typical truck will exert the same force as 160 cars driving over the same slab of concrete.

 

"And also the trucks are paid to the state that they are registered or has a business location in."

 

You must not understand the concept of purchasing fuel, where trucks pay a premium. Someone mentioned tolling -- where trucks are charged far more than cars to travel the same roadway to take into account their share of maintenance (per last statement I made).

 

"It not liek all the trucks that used it paid for the bridge."

 

No, but their tax money goes towards the continual maintenance. Bridges cannot maintain themselves, and as they age, they require more costly repairs.

 

"Hell how old is the bridge? 30+ years? The bridge has been paid for."

 

And? It costs money to repair the bridge. To paint it. To replace it when the time comes.

 

"Most of the truck companies were not even in business back then."

 

I don't even see what that even matters.

 

I am in favor of raising the gasoline tax -- state and federal. Why? The Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund will go bankrupt in 2009, meaning that some maintenance and highway construction projects will be placed on hold. Spans like the Brent Spence, while not in danger of collapsing, will have a replacement span delayed that much longer. The gasoline tax has not been risen since 1993, and is not keeping in pace with inflation.

 

Addendum: Replacement costs must also be taken into account. The Brent Spence replacement has an estimated price tag of $2 billion, and will only escalate due to the outrageous inflation in construction material costs. Take for instance the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville, which now cost $3.9 billion in 2006, up from $2.5 billion in 2005 and $1.9 billion in 2003. For the Spence bridge project, the existing span will also need to remain open to traffic for as long as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Trucks have every legal right to drive on the roads. They pay MORE than the thru cars. If anything, the engineers who built I-75, I-71, and I-275 should be blamed and punished for poor planning.

 

The true mistake in planning was making development of the Northern Kentucky counties south (uphill) from the Ohio River basin any kind of priority.  There might not be a more spectacular instance elsewhere in the country of a metro area divided by state lines by such a formidable topographical situation as the Ohio River and hills immediately south.  There was pretty much nothing in those counties aside from the small river cities when I-75 opened and the designation of the region's airport in Boone County was a disaster which the region will pay for endlessly.  The highway and the airport encouraged development of an area that will always be an island of flat land surrounded by steep hillsides and necessary difficult transportation links to Ohio and across the Licking River. 

 

The airport should have been in Blue Ash, Tri-County, Butler or Warren Counties on the Ohio side.  We wouldn't even be discussing replacing the bridge right now otherwise. 

 

There really is no solution to the I-75 mess without largely abandoning the airport, moving its many related businesses to land near a new airport near the Big Jesus in Butler County, and watching NK housing values plummet as many homes and apartments are bulldozed.  Unfortunately the childish, emotional idea that "growth" = progress continues to frame and motivate too many people and it seems nobody in Northern Kentucky will ever agree to government interference which would put an end to job and residential growth in the I-75 corridor. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rarely drive the interstate but last week I had a semi throw a rock(he was doing about 75, me 60) on 71 near the Reading rd exit. Now I have a cracked windshield on a car that is hard to find. Oh yea he had Michigan plates. I am a little  biased but would be very happy for a truck ban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is that even relevant? You should try being a truck driver and having to deal with asshole motorists who pull in front of your vehicle or tailgate you. When I was on Interstate 26 in South Carolina, I witnessed a truck blow out his tire; the truck careened off the left shoulder into a patch of trees. Be grateful for these people: they help keep America's products moving, and without them, our modern economy would cease to exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the mouth of the bridge.

 

Last Update: 9:56 am  8/21/07

 

According to Artimis, the ramp from 75 south to 71 north is shutdown due to a flipped over truck.

 

No word on when traffic will be back open.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

    I found another fun projection from the past. Enjoy!

 

  "The four bridges across the Ohio provide vehicular lanes as follows:

 

  1. The C&O bridge, two lanes

  2. The L&N bridge, two lanes

  3. The Central bridge, two lanes

  4. The Suspension bridge, three (!) traffic lanes including two car tracks

 

  This gives a total of nine traffic lanes in both directions. As four of these lanes are encumbered by car tracks, their effectiveness would be cut in halves, therefore the 9 traffic lanes are reduced to seven actually.

 

  These seven traffic lanes are capable of carrying 600 to 1000 automobiles per hour or a total of 4200 to 7000 for all four bridges.

 

  Actual traffic counts show that today the normal use is only 900 vehicles. Even at the time of the Latonia Derby this has rarely exceeded 1500 vehicles per hour.

 

  With the probable increase in the use of automobiles goin to and from Kentucky and with the increased ownership of automobiles on the Kentucky side even after ample allowance is made for the growth of the Kentucky communities, it is hardly conceiveable that during the next 50 years the maximum use of the bridges would exceed three or at most, four times the present use. Three times the present use would give 2700 vehicles and four times 3600 vehicles per maximum hour.

 

    No increase in vehicular traffic lanes across the Ohio River is likely to be needed for fifty years to come."

 

    - The Official Plan of the City of Cincinnati, 1925

 

    :-o

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The suspension bridge with three lanes? WTF?

 

I guess it couldn't be any worse, width wise, than many of NYC's river crossings, where lanes are only 8 feet wide on some and abut to the guide rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New truck rules mapped

Mayor: Keep rigs off bridge in peak hours

BY CINDY SCHROEDER | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

August 23, 2007

 

COVINGTON - Instead of a ban on Brent Spence Bridge truck traffic, Covington Mayor Butch Callery wants to prohibit big rigs from traveling the crowded bridge during morning and afternoon rush hours.

 

Callery - who had proposed banning 18-wheelers from the heavily-traveled bridge unless they had business within the Interstate 275 beltway - says restricting access makes more sense.

 

Callery says a veteran trucker suggested the idea after hearing him discuss his proposal on Bill Cunningham's WLW radio show last week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...