Brent Spence detours: Getting around the Tri-State while the bridge is closed

Bridge could be closed for weeks
Posted at 4:54 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 14:14:42-05

The Brent Spence Bridge is closed after a semi fire Wednesday morning damaged the lower and upper decks of the bridge. Authorities say it could be several days or even a few weeks before one of the area’s busiest thoroughfares reopens. South I-71/75 in Northern Kentucky is also closed from the bridge to I-275, but some northbound lanes are reopening by noon on Saturday, Nov. 14.

In the meantime, here’s how to get where you’re going without using the bridge:


You still have several options for getting to and from downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, including:

  • John A. Roebling Bridge (passenger vehicles only starting 8 p.m. Friday) - from Cincinnati, get on via Theodore M. Berry Way or Marian Spencer Way; from Covington, via Greenup Street.
  • Clay Wade Bailey Bridge - from Cincinnati, get on via West Third Street; from Covington, via Main Street or West Fourth Street.
  • Taylor-Southgate Bridge - from Cincinnati, get on via East Pete Rose Way; from Newport, via Third Street.
  • Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, or “Big Mac” Bridge - I-471

The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge reopens to passenger vehicle traffic Friday evening at 8 p.m. Cincinnati Police emphasized that no commercial vehicles are permitted to use the bridge upon reopening. The bridge had been closed Wednesday after Covington police said drivers continued to ignore the historic bridge's weight limit.

Getting to NKY from Ohio

By noon on Saturday, Nov. 14, northbound I-71/75 at I-275 reopens to Fifth Street (Exit 191) to local traffic only.

The two left lanes on northbound I-71/75 NB will be closed at KY-18. As northbound traffic approaches the I-275 split, local and westbound I-275 traffic should be in the left lane. Additionally, eastbound I-275 traffic should remain in the right lane.

Southbound I-75 traffic headed for the Brent Spence is being rerouted to I-471, as southbound I-71/75 in Northern Kentucky is closed at I-275.

From I-471, take westbound I-275 to get to areas like Crestview Hills, Erlanger and Florence (south via I-71/75).

You can also get off I-275 at Madison Pike (Exit 80) or Taylor Mill Road (Exit 79) to get to areas like Latonia, south Covington, Fort Mitchell and Fort Wright.

Getting to Ohio from NKY

Those heading northbound on I-71/75 should take eastbound I-275 to northbound I-471. Cross the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge and stay on north I-71 to get to areas like Norwood, Mason and West Chester, as usual. I-71 hasn't seen any closures in Ohio, but it wouldn't hurt to allot a few extra minutes due to heavy traffic congestion on east I-275.

From Northern Kentucky, you can still get to West Side Cincinnati and northern areas like Wyoming and Reading by taking north I-71/75 to eastbound I-275. Then, hop on northbound I-471, cross the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge and take Exit 6A for US 50. Keep left to take the I-75 exit, and you're clear up all the way up to Dayton and beyond.