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Traffic backup on Brent Spence Bridge on Thursday March 8, 2012.
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Residents voice concerns with new Brent Spence Bridge design

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COVINGTON, Ky. - Changes could be coming to how you get on and off the highway in Covington and that concerns many residents and business owners in Northern Kentucky.

"I really think it's important that we have this bridge, but I also think it's important not to kill a city," said Patricia Miller, who lives and owns a business in Covington.

The concern for Miller and other residents is potential change to the current Fifth Street and 12th Street exits.

Under the current plan, drivers who want to exit from southbound I-75 to Covington will have to make that decision near the Ezzard Charles overpass in Ohio.

Then drivers would take a separate highway, called a collector, which is a distributor much like Second and Third streets above Fort Washington Way.

From there you'll be able to exit to Fifth street and Ninth streets in Covington.

"That's by design, because we want to try to have through traffic moving unimpeded so you don't have weave issues, and safety concerns," said Rob Hans, a chief engineer with the Kentucky Department of Highways.

Hans says under the current plan the new bridge would be a double deck bridge, built parallel to the current Brent Spence Bridge.

Hans says the grade would be too steep to include a Fifth Street exit like there is today. But it would be possible to make an exit to Ninth Street.

That's something the city of Covington and many Northern Kentucky residents are pushing for.

"It does look like it's harder for someone who doesn't know the routes outside of the area to drop down into Fifth Street, MainStrasse is down there, a lot of great restaurants, and it's going to be very important to have access to those areas, to keep those areas vibrant that people who aren't from the area can get there as easily," said Andy Corn of Ludlow.

The final meeting to discuss the new bridge will be held Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Fore more on the design of the new Brent Spence Bridge go to: http://www.brentspencebridgecorridor.com/

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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