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Major step made for Brent Spence Bridge project

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COVINGTON, Ky. - A major step forward has been made for a new Brent Spence Bridge.

The federal government has called the bridge "functionally obsolete," and signed off on a plan to move construction forward.

Plans have been modified to include a new Fifth Street exit ramp in Covington.

"My reaction is ecstatic," Assistant Manager Ron Zmurk of DeFelice Cafe said. "We are very concerned of the elimination of the Fifth Street exit would have done for our business."

The 49-year-old bridge is experiencing major congestion, creating both safety and trade concerns, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Plans to discuss a new bridge turned sour, especially on the Kentucky side, when business owners learned that the new exit stood the chance of being removed. The Fifth Street exit is a major exit for several Covington business.

"After two months of construction here, I found that they were talking about closing the Fifth Street exit, which was really disconcerting," owner of DJ's Sandwich Shop, Derrick McAllister said.

Business for McAllister is doing great, after being open for just one month.

"The bridge is old and needs a lot of work, exits need a lot of work and a lot of exits down here need a lot of work," Zmurk said.

The bridge is also making another huge step. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that the bridge will not have a detrimental effect on the environment, allowing officials to move into final design stages.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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