The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued an order for commercial vehicle drivers to try to relieve traffic congestion on local streets during a major bridge closure.
On Wednesday, November 18, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray issued a travel order for commercial trucks traveling north on Interstate 71/75 to stick to signed detours while the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River is closed for repairs due to a truck crash and hazmat fire last week.
Officials say that while detour signs are directing northbound commercial vehicles to detour onto I-275 toward alternative crossings, some truck drivers are continuing north on I-71/75 into downtown Covington, creating gridlock on surface streets.
The order will remain in place until the Brent Spence Bridge reopens. Gray says that the order “empowers law enforcement officers to prohibit commercial vehicles from bypassing the detour” and that “violators can be ticketed.”
Gray says that trucks making local deliveries are exempt.
“The intention is not to penalize drivers but to prohibit large trucks from clogging local streets, creating traffic hazards and congestion,” Secretary Gray said. “Diverting drivers onto our established detours will keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible during this limited bridge closure.”
Kentucky transportation officials say that the Brent Spence Bridge typically carries 160,000 vehicles per day and that 15% of that traffic comes from commercial vehicles.
The Brent Spence Bridge is expected to reopen to traffic on December 23.