The Brent Spence Bridge closure isn't going away anytime soon so it might be time to find a permanent detour.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents to prepare for its primary river crossing to be closed into December.
"We are looking at weeks, perhaps more than a month," Beshear said Thursday. "We have repairs that will take weeks to execute."
Beshear offered some relief for local travelers in Northern Kentucky Friday afternoon.
One lane of I-75/I-71 north between I-275 and the Brent Spence Bridge will be opened sometime Friday night, Beshear said in a Facebook video.
“This lift in traffic restrictions will help local traffic get closer to Downtown Covington on I-75,” Beshear said.
Beshear also announced the Roebling Suspension Bridge would be reopened to traffic at 8 p.m. Trucks will not be allowed.
Governors in both states said the bridge won't reopen until it's safe enough for them to transverse the river.
Beshear said he believes the bridge can be repaired, but he is not sure how long that will take.
Politicians have spent more than a decade campaigning on the promise of a replacement for the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky. Speaking Wednesday in Florence, Sen. Mitch McConnell said Kentuckians should look for a solution from Frankfort — not from offices like his in Washington.
“There’s never been an earmark big enough in the history of America to build that bridge,” he told the small crowd of mayors, business leaders and journalists who gathered at Kona Ice headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
McConnell, who hopes to win a seventh Senate term on Election Day, said the federal government will not set aside the funds necessary to replace the ailing span. If commuters want a replacement, he said, the money will have to come from inside their state. Gas taxes, maybe. The current plan involves tolls.
His opponent, retired Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath, disagreed in an interview the week before.
“Brent Spence Bridge is America’s number one infrastructure emergency,” she said on Oct. 25. “We have to fix this, and we can do it without tolls, and that is what I am saying I will do.”
She said she sees the Brent Spence as a national issue that should be remedied with national funds — potentially by a cut of the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the House of Representatives on July 1.
The Senate, under McConnell’s leadership, has not held a vote on the act. On the day it was passed by the House, he criticized its broad scope, which includes funding for roads, water projects, and affordable housing while pushing for “deep reductions in pollution.”