Rating:
5 votes

Brent Spence Bridge

Photos 

Color postcard

Photo submitted by Jonathan Maxwell

BH Photo #108261

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Double-decker cantilevered through truss bridge over the Ohio River on I-71/I-75 at Cincinnati
Location
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, and Kenton County, Kentucky
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
ODOT says that demolition and replacement might happen in the future.
History
Built 1963
Design
Cantilevered through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 830.8 ft.
Total length: 1,736.4 ft.
Deck width: 91.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.9 ft.
Also called
Car-Strangled Banner Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.09056, -84.52250   (decimal degrees)
39°05'26" N, 84°31'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/714271/4329747 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Covington
Inventory number
BH 27602 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 10/2005)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 74.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2003)
148,614

Update Log 

  • June 21, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Added humorous alternate name
  • March 13, 2010: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Added Google Street View.
  • November 9, 2005: Posted photos from Jonathan Maxwell

Sources 

  • Jonathan Maxwell - themaxwellshouse [at] roadrunner [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com

Comments 

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted September 24, 2011, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well, the bridge is definetly functionally obsolete with around 150,000 vehicles a day. I have also heard it was horribly congested ever since opening in 1963. I believe its a design flaw where there was an underestimation of how much traffic would use it daily. The president wants to help get it replaced. However the bridge should not be in horrible condition structure wise. I have looked at proposals on like cincinnati.com(correct me if I'm wrong) on replacement alternatives. I just hope that still one of the options to build a separate bridge to the west for I-75 traffic and leave I-71 on the Brent Spence bridge since it is said 14 lanes is needed for a new I-75/71 river crossing. This would also be reasonable if most of the Brent Spence traffic is through I-75 traffic. Hopefully the decision is made to do this. The Brent Spence is like the only standard cantaliever remaining across the Ohio in downtown Cincinnati other than the Clay Wade Baily which is like conjoined with the C&O railroad bridge which is like a different type of cantaliever. Hopefully a new bridge to the west is still an option rather than total demolition and replacement.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted September 23, 2011, by Brad Smith (gaberdine [at] hotmail [dot] com)
Brent Spence Bridge
Posted September 15, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

But politicians care so much about having new projects. New projects mean that they can have their name added to the shiny new plaque on the corner of the new bridge and then everyone can take pictures of them cutting the ribbon, nodding and smiling for the camera. And who wouldn't want to have a bridge named after them or their mother?

Recession and deficits only come into speak if you are one of those undesirable peoples and then it's "No handouts for you. Recession dontcha'know?"

And I believe some politician said that a talk show host mentioned that old bridges are bad for the environment or promote liberalism, I forget which.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted September 15, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about bridges and having the federal government fund bridge projects. A lot of it with news sources demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of what "structurally deficient" means. Even worse, politicians keep talking about a bill to fund bridge projects. Indeed the President will be speaking at this bridge about his proposed program. The problem is that their proposal to continue to fund bridge projects using the same old broken funding system will waste massive amounts of tax dollars and will result in needless demolition of historic bridges. If politicians actually had some sense they would completely reform this nation's transportation funding system and mirror it on the British system which places the greatest focus on maintaining and rehabilitating existing infrastructure. The American system as currently designed is a process of deferring maintenance with the goal being to get below 50% sufficiency rating so as to qualify for demolition and replacement funding. A reformed federal funding system would award greater percentages of assistance to rehab and repair projects which is not currently done. Whether you like old/historic bridges or not, I encourage you to write to congress and encourage them to decrease replacement funds and increase repair funds. In the majority of cases repair costs less money and so doing this will save money and reduce the rate of our nation's deficit.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted October 2, 2009, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

This bridge is featured LOADED with cars in the opening credits of "The Edge Of Night", it can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7nDu6bwgQ8

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted March 11, 2008, by Chris H

Some of the previous comments, although a bit old, mention being afraid of this bridge. It may be old, but it's not in danger of collapsing. The NTSB has indicated that a design flaw was at fault for the I-35W bridge's failure. I, for one, have no fears about crossing it, other than the fact that there are no longer any shoulders.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted August 10, 2007, by Anonymous

I really don't think this bridge is in danger of falling down unless it is not taken care of for thirty years. The only problem I see is it is too small for all of the cars and trucks that try to cross it at one time. People I know in Cincinnati say that ever since the bridge first opened it was terribly congested. I think the two states had no attention span when they were building the bridge. They should have made it at least five lanes on both decks with emergency shoulders, and built the ramps further away. I believe the bridge is still good and strong but just not wide enough for all of the traffic. I wouldnt worry about it falling down. Just stay away from it during rush hour. What I think it would take to take it down would be barges hitting the piers on purpose at one time, or being packed with all 120000 pound overloaded trucks stopped on it rocking which is very UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN. Yes, the bridge is not for I-75 & 71 traffic anymore and a wider bridge needs to be built soon. I dont know if a decision has been made for if this bridge will be demolished or be used for a different lighter road when the new one is built.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted August 2, 2007, by gale (g [dot] nebes [at] current [dot] net)

This bridge will probably be the next one to fall. It is so heavily traveled and is in such bad shape. There is no way it will last until 2015. Right now there are lane closures on the weekends and traffic is stopped on the bridge with all of the lanes full of semis and cars. This is just not safe. I try to avoid this bridge as much as I can. I just wish we could do something about this before we have a tragedy here in Cincinnati.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted August 2, 2007, by James Adorno (adorno423 [at] aol [dot] com)

Being from the Dayton/Cincinnati area, I won't drive on this bridge for fear of a collapse. It is scary, and unsafe, especially for what it was used for. I, for one, will not be too terribly sad to see it go.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted August 2, 2007, by Mark olding (rabbit2957 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I lived in Cincinnati for over 30 years, befor moving to Michigan.

I feel that this is a chance for both Kentucky and Ohio to fix this problem of an eye-sore that has graced our states for over 40 years.

Why not replace it with a cable-stayed bridge or a nice bridge like the one being built in California (Oakland Bay Bridge).

This would give the area a much needed make over, to go with all the new construction on both sides of the Ohio river in the area.

This bridge needs to be replaced, especally since the collapes of the major bridge in Minneapolis Minnasota.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted February 28, 2007, by Randy Brush

Scheduled for replacement in 2015. I-71 will move new bridge over Ohio River. I-75 will stay on Brent Spence Bridge or new wide bridge after 2015.