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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Announces $12 Million for Emergency Repairs to the Brent Spence Bridge

Friday, November 13, 2020

FHWA 26-20
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel.: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the immediate availability of $12 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help begin repairs on the Brent Spence Bridge which was damaged by a fire resulting from a truck crash on Wednesday morning.

“These funds will help the safe and timely repair of the Brent Spence Bridge, which is such an important transportation link between Kentucky and Ohio and one of the busiest freight corridors in our nation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Brent Spence Bridge is a double decker, cantilevered truss bridge that carries Interstates 71 and 75 across the Ohio River between Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. In the early morning hours of November 11, a truck hauling potassium hydroxide and diesel fuel crashed into a jackknifed truck, catching fire on the northbound deck of Brent Spence Bridge.

The Brent Spence Bridge is currently closed to all traffic as the extent of structural damage is assessed.

The $12 million in “quick release” funding will be used to initiate the most critical repairs to the damaged roadway. The Brent Spence Bridge is a vital transportation link, not just for the region, but for the nation, carrying an estimated 165,000 vehicles per day. It was built in 1963.

The ER funds are considered a down payment on the costs of short-term repairs now, which can make long-term repair work possible in the weeks ahead. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

More information about FHWA’s ER program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.

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