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Old 11-11-2020, 02:36 PM   #1
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TROUBLE on I-75 at Ohio River Nov 11

In the early morning two semis caught fire on the lower level of the OHIO RIVER bridge on I-75/I-71. Bridge to remain closed to ALL TRAFFIC North and South until it can be inspected for damage which might take 2-3 days according to KY news announcement this afternoon. At very least take I-275 around city, but as of now ( 2PM on Wednesday) traffic is tied up all around the city because of this major bottle-neck.

I will post more news as it comes out.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
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In the early morning two semis caught fire on the lower level of the OHIO RIVER bridge on I-75/I-71...{snip}
Yikes! Seems to me this same thing happened in the late 60s when I was in Ohio attending college. However, it WAS the 60s so I might be "misremembering" this!
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #3
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There is something I always wondered about in cases like this. Say a truck was too tall to fit under a bridge, but the driver tried anyway. The bridge structure gets damaged. Does the driver or truck owner have to pay for the damage to the bridge? Or maybe a vehicle runs off the road and destroys a section of guard rail. Does the driver get a bill for a new guard rail? I mean, it's public property, but the public should not have to eat the cost for the damage the driver caused. Does anyone know how this works?
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:09 PM   #4
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There is something I always wondered about in cases like this. Say a truck was too tall to fit under a bridge, but the driver tried anyway. The bridge structure gets damaged. Does the driver or truck owner have to pay for the damage to the bridge? Or maybe a vehicle runs off the road and destroys a section of guard rail. Does the driver get a bill for a new guard rail? I mean, it's public property, but the public should not have to eat the cost for the damage the driver caused. Does anyone know how this works?
I know people who have hit guardrails or poles and get billed for the damage. Of course that is in NJ, so it could just be a revenue generator!
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:38 PM   #5
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TROUBLE on I-75 at Ohio River Nov 11

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Originally Posted by rsdata View Post
In the early morning two semis caught fire on the lower level of the OHIO RIVER bridge on I-75/I-71. Bridge to remain closed to ALL TRAFFIC North and South until it can be inspected for damage which might take 2-3 days according to KY news announcement this afternoon. At very least take I-275 around city, but as of now ( 2PM on Wednesday) traffic is tied up all around the city because of this major bottle-neck.

I will post more news as it comes out.
Thanks for the heads-up and please do update this. We're leaving Cleveland on Saturday morning down I-71 and spending the night at the FMCA campground in Newtown. That's off I-275, exit 63 or so, as I recall. Then it's off to TN.

Ray
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:24 AM   #6
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spending the night at the FMCA campground in Newtown. That's off I-275, exit 63 or so, as I recall. Then it's off to TN.
NXR,

You'll be on I-275 east of the bridge coming from Newtown, OH. I have a doc appointment near the I-275 to I-75 south (Erlanger, KY) interchange on Thursday morning and I will be surprised IF that area is NOT tied up real good. It is often tied up EVEN during normal times, often taking 10 minutes or more to get thru that interchange going south down I-75/I-71. I will report what I see Thursday late afternoon.

NXR, I know you are driving a MH, but I would suggest getting off on US Rt 27 south, which is the first exit ( left side exit) on east I-275 after crossing the Ohio River. It is stop and go traffic for about 6 miles but then it is a straight shot with low traffic to Paris KY, then Lexington, KY and an entrance ramp to I-75 in north Lexington. 55 MPH speed on nice 2 lane and 4 lane roads all the way with some nice scenery of KY hills and finally horse farm pastures near Paris/Lexington. I always go this way pulling my TT when going south and it is only about 10-20 minutes longer then taking I-75 thru N. KY, but lots less stressful driving.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:27 AM   #7
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There is something I always wondered about in cases like this. Say a truck was too tall to fit under a bridge, but the driver tried anyway. The bridge structure gets damaged. Does the driver or truck owner have to pay for the damage to the bridge? Or maybe a vehicle runs off the road and destroys a section of guard rail. Does the driver get a bill for a new guard rail? I mean, it's public property, but the public should not have to eat the cost for the damage the driver caused. Does anyone know how this works?
Here in WA we had a wide load knock down a whole bridge on I-5. Company hauling it if I recall correctly was based in Canada. State went after Company and all Insurance Companies involved.

We never know how much it cost or how much was recovered but I do know that the State did not eat the costs.

It's simple. You break it you "buy" it.

We had a Bailey Bridge over the river within a few weeks and a new bridge if I recall within a year.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Yikes! Seems to me this same thing happened in the late 60s when I was in Ohio attending college. However, it WAS the 60s so I might be "misremembering" this!
If you remember the 60s, you weren’t there.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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Thanks. This is the way RVTW has for directions right now but I haven't confirmed it with the Garmin yet but it looks correct from memory. We're headed toward to the Knoxville area and it looks like this route uses the Combs-Hehl Bridge, which is not mentioned as being closed.

(FMCA campground)
3: Take ramp onto I-275 S toward Kentucky/US-52.
4: Continue on I-275.
5: Take exit 84 toward Lexington/Louisville onto I-71 S/I-75 S.
6: Continue on I-75 S toward Lexington.
7: Keep right onto I-75 S toward Richmond/Knoxville.
8: Continue on I-75.
9: Continue on I-275 S toward Knoxville/I-640 E/Asheville.

At least we'll be hitting it on a Sunday morning. Fingers crossed,

Ray
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:17 AM   #10
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...NXR, I know you are driving a MH, but I would suggest getting off on US Rt 27 south, which is the first exit ( left side exit) on east I-275 after crossing the Ohio River....
I think you mean the first exit on I-275 West after crossing the Ohio River...
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:49 AM   #11
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I think you mean the first exit on I-275 West after crossing the Ohio River...
If it matters, coming from the FMCA campground east of Cincinnati, we would be taking I-275 East to loop around to the south.

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Old 11-12-2020, 11:18 AM   #12
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If it matters, coming from the FMCA campground east of Cincinnati, we would be taking I-275 East to loop around to the south.

Ray
I-275 East westbound, right? Maybe that's the confusion.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:43 AM   #13
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I hope it does not end up like I-85 in Atlanta, Georgia did when they had a fire under the raised section in 2017. They ended up closing it for months and had to completely replace major sections of the support system and roadway. Contractor had a bonus clause if done ahead of schedule and they pulled it off, but it was a mess for Atlanta while it was damaged. But we had a section of the actual roadway fall from the fire so this one may not be as bad as ours was.



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Old 11-12-2020, 11:43 AM   #14
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I-275 East westbound, right? Maybe that's the confusion.
All I know is we are always east of Cincinnati going to and leaving from the campground when headed southbound. Yeah, I-275 kind of has to arc to the west south of Cincinnati to get back on I-71/75 since that road runs through the city.

I just "follow the purple brick road", so to speak.

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Old 11-12-2020, 03:47 PM   #15
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I-275 East westbound, right? Maybe that's the confusion.
CORRECT... I-275 circles the city... when you are east of the city it is called I-275 East and West of the city I-275 West... you can then determine from there am I traveling east-bound OR west-bound on that section of I-275...
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:04 PM   #16
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An hour ago (1500 hrs, 11/12/20), KY Governor Beshears said the bridge would be closed "weeks, perhaps more than a month." This is one of the major north/south highways in the country! We have used it regularly. What a driver's disaster. Plan ahead.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:06 PM   #17
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I-75/I-71 CLOSED update Nov 12 5PM

Listening to radio updates via local AM station WLW 700 AM radio.

According to reports. the main interstate bridge over the OHIO will be CLOSED for sure at the minimum closed for an additional 2-3 weeks, BUT is looking more likely that it may be closed for a month or more... as of reports at 5PM on Thursday Nov 12.

A second bridge closing happened today with the closure from downtown Cin to downtown Covington, KY, with the 160 year old Roebling Suspension bridge because of too much heavy traffic over the 11 TON limit aging span. This is causing even more traffic using I-471 and around the I-275 loop.

The map below shows my eyewitness and radio accounts of traffic around southern Cincinnati area (actually N. KY). The YELLOW shows heavy stop and go traffic ( at 2 PM observed) around the southern half of I-275 in KY. Also heavy traffic approaching the I-275 interchange south of the city in Erlanger, KY from I-75/71 north-bound.

The ORANGE lines are the closed bridges as of Thursday afternoon.

Traffic in all areas of Northern KY are heavier than usual as locals are finding their way around the snarls of the interstate system.

Traffic is mostly stop and go on all interstates south of the river, and especially heavy during rush hours. I heard one eyewitness report that it took an hour + to travel a normal 10 minute trip thru the Erlanger, KY interchange from I-275 to I-75 traveling at 9 AM this Thursday.

An alternative if you want to keep moving South through the Cincinnati/N.KY area is to take I-275 to the east side of the city, from either I-75 or I-71 and exit on US Rt 27 south. Travel about 70 to 90 miles to either Georgetown, KY ( 70 mi via US Rt 27 then US 62) or Paris, KY then Lexington, KY ( 90 mi US Rt 27 all the way) where you can easily pickup I-75 south-bound from either point. The drive down US Rt 27 is an easy 4 and 2 lane road @ 55 MPH mostly thru rural KY.

I would consider using the opposite north-bound route, from Lexington (Rt 27 exit) or Georgetown, KY (US Rt 62) to Highland Hts, KY entrance to I-275 on the south-east side of Cincinnati, north-east on I-275 to connect to I-71 or I-75 on the north side of Cincinnati.

IN my opinion... traveling I-75/71 north or south, around I-275, you WILL BE in heavy traffic for dozens of miles in the KY area. Traveling overnight and very early Sunday morning might get you a reprieve, but this corridor is very heavily traveled at all hours.

PM me for any specific questions about N.KY travel through the area and I'll do my best to advise you fairly quickly
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:19 PM   #18
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Ah yes, the famous Brent Spence Bridge. I lived in Cincinnati in the 70s and early 80s. At that time some wag suggested renaming it the "Bent Spent Bridge", or the "Car-Strangled Spanner".
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:11 PM   #19
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We lived in Morrow, Ohio for 19 years - moved to Evansville, Indiana in 2017 - and there was talk about the need to replace that bridge for YEARS. There's a similar issue right now on the bridge over the Ohio River between Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky. The major issue in both cases was how to pay for the new bridge. No one wants to pay tolls, yet 2 new bridges were built in Louisville and have tolls on them. The federal government is NOT going to foot the entire bill for a new bridge, so the people opposed to a toll (mostly locals who use it every day) will either have to get over that issue, or get used to more gridlock and delays.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:12 PM   #20
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alternate route

We had to drive home on Wednesday morning from Corbin in Southern Kentucky. Fortunately, we heard about the bridge closure and did not head that way. Instead, we took I 75 north only to Lexington, then got over to Rt 68. That beautiful road took us into Maysville, across their very nice new bridge (there are 2 in Maysville) and we came up to Dayton on 68. Total difference was 20 miles and SO much less stress! We have decided to not take I75 next year when we plan to go back to Corbin.

I highly suggest looking at this route out of Dayton, Ohio and staying out of Cincinnati all together!
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