How will months-long Roebling Bridge closure impact local riverfront businesses?

Roebling Bridge will close four times for a bridge inspection
Posted at 5:22 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 17:41:55-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — Facing a Roebling Bridge closure that could last months, and a corresponding drop in traffic through Covington's LIcking Riverside District, surrounding businesses are bracing for impact.

"For the people who would normally drive to get to work they’re no longer taking this route," said Richard Hunt, who owns Roebling Point Books and Coffee at the corner of Third and Greenup streets at the foot of the Roebling.

He said he's already seen a 20 percent drop in business in the three weeks the bridge has been closed to auto traffic.

"Summer is coming and people are going to be going back and forth to the (Reds) games," Hunt said. "We were certainly sad that it was going to be closed that long."

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet closed the bridge to all auto traffic — as well as pedestrian traffic along its east side walking path — after chunks of sandstone began falling from the span's northern tower onto the roadway. KYTC officials are still assessing how to make emergency repairs in order to reopen the roadway.

Regardless of how they address the current closure, the bridge will close again in 2020 for an already-planned upgrade project that was meant to address the imminent fallen sandstone.