FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that the emergency repair of the Brent Spence Bridge in northern Kentucky following a truck crash and fire has been selected the 2021 “National Project of the Year under $20 Million” by the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE).
It is the fourth major award for engineering achievement to be accorded to the project, which involved repairing and reopening the bridge that carries Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati.
“It is one of the most important commercial corridors in the eastern United States, which heightened the urgency of the project,” according to a news release from Beshear’s office.
The project was nominated and co-sponsored by the Derby City and Bluegrass Sections of ASHE.
Prior to the national award, it swept sectional awards and the Great Lakes Region ASHE Transportation Improvement Award in the category of Construction Cost $5 Million and Under.
The project also has received national awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Public Works Association and Engineering News-Record.
The Brent Spence Bridge, which carries 160,000 vehicles per day, was abruptly closed when two semitrailers collided and burned early on the morning of Nov. 11, 2020.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) quickly assembled a project team that included consulting engineers from Michael Baker International, Stantec, Palmer and Burgess & Niple, and a construction contractor, Kokosing Construction Co. An already aggressive schedule – to reopen the bridge in exactly six weeks, on Dec. 23, 2020 – was beaten by a day and the bridge reopened on Dec. 22.
“The project team, knowing the importance of the Brent Spence Bridge, was laser focused on repairing and safely reopening it as quickly as possible. No one was thinking about awards at the time, but this recognition is well-deserved,” Beshear said. “Now, along with our partners in the Ohio Department of Transportation, we’re equally focused on building a companion bridge alongside the Brent Spence without tolls.”
KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said the ASHE award was “a great credit to our engineers and a host of partners, all of whom worked day and night to restore one of the most important river crossings in the eastern United States.”
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