Traffic in 2012: Moments that drove Tri-State drivers to distraction

Road projects and spilled syrup hit the roadways

CINCINNATI - Tri-State drivers cover a lot of territory getting from work to home and points in between. So, when construction and accidents slow down the commute, the first question from motorists is often, "What happened?"

Here's a look at just nine of the notable incidents that drove drivers to distraction in 2012.

1. Brent Spence Bridge blues. The most heavily traveled bridge in the Tri-State carries more than 160,000 vehicles daily. Dozens of accidents have caused bumper to bumper traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge and are part of the reason officials are trying to figure out how to replace it. Price tag: $2.4 billion.

2. Symmes Township pileup . In February, there was a domino effect traffic tie-up on I-71 north, when several cars collided with an overturned tractor trailer. It happened during rush hour on a Monday, closing I-71 for hours. The drivers involved had minor injuries.

3. Revive the Drive . It was a long and winding road for drivers on I-471 and I-275 in Northern Kentucky after this $190 million dollar project got underway in late March. Slow-downs and delays were the order or the day, and may continue into 2013.

4. Whitewater woes . US 50 from Kilby Road to Lawrenceburg, Ind. closed down in March when a car collided with a utility pole in Whitewater Township sending wires across the roadway. The shut-down lasted nearly eight hours. The driver went to the hospital with minor injuries.

5. Sticky situation . In June, thousands of gallons of maple syrup spilled on I-71/75 at Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell.  It happened after a collision that sheared off the side of the semi that was carrying the syrup and shut down the hour for hours.

6. Taylor Mill Road . The project to widen KY 16 to create a five-lane highway broke ground in June and is still going, causing frustrations for many Northern Kentucky.

7. It's a Jungle Jim's out there . When the international foods mecca opened the doors to a 215,000 square foot store in Eastgate, it gave new meaning to the phrase, "If you built it, they will come." The September grand opening slowed down traffic as shoppers flocked to the location. More than a dozen Union Township police officers had to direct traffic.

8. Waldvogel Viaduct. The viaduct's demolition meant new traffic patterns and work on the U.S. 50/Sixth Street Expressway starting in November. The project slowed things down for drivers in and around the Cincinnati's West Side, and the work is far from over. Project manager Richard Szekerish says the three-year, $55 million project is on schedule to wrap in November 2014.

9. Winter wipeouts. Arriving just as winter officially began, the first major snowfall of 2012 brought delays, icy conditions, and dozens of accidents. It also claimed two lives.


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