Vote now: Brent Spence bridge repairs up for people's choice award

The repair work completed on the Brent Spence Bridge after a fiery crash in November 2020 is a finalist for a national award. (File photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The emergency project to quickly repair and reopen the Brent Spence Bridge following a truck crash and fire last fall, has been selected as one of the nation’s top 12 transportation projects competing for a national transportation grand prize and people’s choice award.

Kentuckians, Ohioans and regional travelers are encouraged to vote daily to honor the people behind the project who restored the nationally significant Ohio River crossing in record time.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or AASHTO, revealed the finalists on Friday.  This means the Brent Spence Bridge project now is in the running for further national honors as part of America’s Transportation Awards program, jointly sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Brent Spence Bridge project and 11 other state projects from across the United States now are competing for a national grand prize, with the winner selected by a panel of judges, and a people’s choice award, which is decided by the general public in online voting.

“The online voting gives every Kentuckian an opportunity to express pride in a project of critical importance that was completed under budget and ahead of schedule under exceptionally difficult circumstances,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

The Brent Spence Bridge, which carries Interstates 71 and 75 across the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati was abruptly closed early on Nov. 11, 2020, after two tractor-trailers collided and burned on the lower of the bridge’s two decks.  Forty-one days later, on Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas travel, the bridge was reopened.

“It’s an honor to have the Brent Spence Bridge repair project recognized for excellence in a prestigious, national competition,” stated Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray.  “It’s a great credit to our very innovative engineers and a host of partners, all of whom worked day and night to restore one of the most important river crossings in the eastern United States.  We encourage all our fellow Kentuckians to go to the website and cast a vote every day.”

The 12 finalist projects emerged from four regional contests.  Voting, which is now underway, continues until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 25, 2021.  Participants can vote on any number of projects, once per day, at  Winners will be announced at the AASHTO annual meeting, Oct. 26-29, in San Diego.

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