7 votes

Brent Spence Bridge


Color postcard

Photo submitted by Jonathan Maxwell

BH Photo #108261

Street View 


Double-decker continuous cantilevered through truss bridge over the Ohio River on I-71/I-75 at Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, and Kenton County, Kentucky
Future prospects
ODOT says that demolition and replacement might happen in the future.
Built 1963
Continuous cantilevered Warren through truss
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:
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
ODOT 3107787 (Ohio Dept. of Transportation structure file number)
BH 27602 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 62 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 10, 2022: New photos from Bambi Sharkoman
  • November 20, 2021: Updated by Paul Plassman: Added truss type
  • January 21, 2021: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • 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


  • Jonathan Maxwell - themaxwellshouse [at] roadrunner [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs
  • Paul Plassman
  • Jesse Sharkoman Berube - jesseberube5 [at] gmail [dot] com


Brent Spence Bridge
Posted April 10, 2021, by Anonymous
Brent Spence Bridge
Posted December 22, 2020, by Tom Hoffman

Bridge set to reopen today 12/22

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted November 13, 2020, by Jim Lueken Jr. (lueken [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

Brent Spence bridge closed due to FIRE!


Brent Spence Bridge
Posted November 11, 2020, by Tom Hoffman

Some of you may have heard. At 2:45 this morning(11-11) there was a bad fiery accident on the lower deck of the bridge involving two semis. One was carrying potassium hydroxide and the diesel burned in both trucks. It took two hours to contain the fire. There is apparently some damage to the concrete and possibly steel too. Inspectors are looking for the total damage and officials say the bridge will be totally closed for days and maybe weeks until emergency repairs can be made. This is going to cause a major disruption to decades long obsolete traffic patterns. The bridge is neat being a double deck cantaliever truss, but very obsolete. Soon things had better get worked out to build a new bridge along the side while still using this one.

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted September 8, 2020, by Satolli Glassmeyer (info [at] HistoryInYourOwnBackyard [dot] com)

Here's a recent video I did on the history of the bridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa26GN1v7IU

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted March 8, 2020, by Jim Lueken (lueken [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

The bridge and approaches will NOT get replaced until Kentucky agrees to an all electronic tolling system to pay for the massive project. I live downstream in Louisville and we have a bridge the same age at the Spence bridge. It was also congested and in poor condition. And we badly needed two more bridges. With a price tag of over $2.5 BILLION, it wasn't happening until the states of Kentucky and Indiana agreed to tolling. The 'Ohio Rivers Bridges Project' was completed several years ago. $2 to cross and well worth it!

Brent Spence Bridge
Posted February 17, 2019, by Marcie Latham (mlatham [at] whelanfamily [dot] com)

Glad to say that in 2019 this bridge is still standing. I have been driving over it for a year and it has had little done to it since the prediction that it would fall down shortly after the bridge in Minneapolis fell down.

It is definitely in need of help. The main issue is the road design on Kentucky side of the bridge has too much of a grade. Trucks going over it can't even get into the truck lanes during rush hour because traffic is bumper to bumper.

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:


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.