COVINGTON, Ky. — Transportation officials have pushed the reopening of the John A. Roebling Bridge to August citing "unique challenges."
The goal, according to Kentucky District 6 representatives, was to have the bridge open by the end of July, but "unforeseen challenges" involving the installation of a safety netting will prevent crews from doing so.
"This project has been very challenging and we are working diligently to get the Roebling bridge open," said Robert Yeager, chief district engineer. "We want to be sure that the netting is secure for public safety and to protect the integrity of our historic bridge."
Crews are installing netting on the bridge as part of a temporary measure to catch loose chunks of sandstone. The 152-year-old historic bridge closed to motorists in April after sandstone fragments broke from the bridge's north tower.
The bridge and eastbound walkway have been closed since April 17. So far, contractors have removed about 200 pounds of loose stone, officials said.
The bridge work is more extensive due to preservation requirements. The bridge will reopen to drivers once the netting installation is complete, and scaffolding is removed, officials said.
Drivers are asked to use the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge or the Fourth Street/Veterans Bridge to the Taylor Southgate Bridge as a detour.
When open, the Roebling carried more than 8,000 vehicles every day. The emergency repair work comes as a preview for an already-planned, $8 million repair project scheduled for the bridge in 2020.