The new Brent Spence Bridge designs fail to impress!

Plans are being unveiled today for the new bridge set to replace the crumbling Brent Spence Bridge.  From the looks of it, Cincinnati is going to go the easy route in coming up with a unique and visually stunning bridge to add to the Cincinnati water way.  One of the designs is almost a carbon copy of a bridge that already spans the river on the East side of the city.

Design #1 looks almost identical to the Big Mac Bridge

Existing Big Mac Bridge

There were 12 designs that were sifted through by the project advisory board.  A board in which we would like to know the members.  These members have narrowed the choices down to 6  ideas.  The only problem is, four of the designs are almost identical with only minor changes to the structure that supports the second deck.  The small changes in support beams do not create different designs in my opinion.  One of the designs, like stated before, is almost identical to the Big Mac bridge on I-471.  There are very little differences.  Design #6 is simply unbalanced and a poor design concept.  It appears to leave all of Kentucky out of the picture, and portrays it as a “Cincinnati” bridge.

Design #2. A striking resemblance to the new bridge in Boston, Ma

Design #3. Change the support beams to the second deck and we have a whole new design?

Design #4. Let's just straighten out the support towers and we have a new design

Design #5. Let's change the support beams and once again, a new design. Really?

Design #6. Cincinnati decided to leave Kentucky out of the picture all together

The public is now going to help with choosing a the final three designs of this 2 billion+ project.  I doubt anyone from the public is going to help come up with new ideas.  That is exactly what is needed, completely new ideas.  5 of the ideas for the new bridge have a very similar resemblance to the  new Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge that was built in Boston, Ma as part of The Big Dig.  Why is it that Cincinnati cannot come up with unique and different ideas for projects intended to better our city.  People of this city are constantly wanting new and fresh ideas to permeate our lives, yet we step back into time with any projects that are intended to bring us into the future.

This quote from a recent article in the Enquirer sums up the thought of what the planners want out of the design, but unfortunately the designs fail to meet those goals.

Among other objectives, planners said the new bridge should be sufficiently architecturally distinctive to become a local landmark, have a “visual relationship” with the existing bridge, be visible while looking through the existing span from the east and afford those crossing it good views of the surroundings. (By Barry M. Horstman @ the Cincinnati Enquirer)

There is nothing about any of these designs that anyone would consider them as architecturally distinctive.  There is absolutely nothing to offer in any of the designs to consider them a “local landmark.”  Each of these designs have already been seen and used across the globe.  What is going to make these different from all the others and make it a landmark?  The only thing I see making this bridge unique is the clueless people in charge of designing and building it.  It’s a shame that we as a city can’t step to the plate with something fresh and stunning.  We have a chance to set a new standard for a bridge design.  A bridge that 150,000 people cross daily. Once again, this new bridge will fall into the same old Cincinnati way of thinking.

Boston already designed the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge.  Why can’t Cincinnati come up with something that isn’t a cheap rip off?

More information about this project can be found at

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, Ma


~ by thenoblevisions on February 2, 2010.

3 Responses to “The new Brent Spence Bridge designs fail to impress!”

  1. Nice website. I am the clueless person in charge of this project. There are a number of constraints in bridge technology and the Ohio River site that constrain how we can build this. The designs are not cooped from other places. The other clueless people on this project have designed most of the other structures you mention. Please feel free to come to my office to learn more details. thanks. Fred Craig. You can reach me at 513 639 2121

  2. I am a Ohio native and look forward to cresting the hill in Kentucky on my visits back to my home state. I can say that neither of these designs make Cincinnati “POP”. Cincinnati needs to follow the trend of making a statement in their architecture…..especially a bridge! Mr. Craig….the designs are “cooped” from other places. You stated “the people on this project have designed most of the other structures”….so that would not be designing out of the box. Your designers are just altering existing designs.(“ie” cost cutting) Bridge technology restraints? The only restraints in technology is not having the technology. The ohio river site changes the visual appearance of the bridge? I understand the geological make up of the river and banks may dictate the structural base design, but it shouldn’t affect the appearance to the point of copying other designs. Mr. Craig…can you provide us citizens with a link to these restraints and site conditions? Benjamin “A very concerned and loyal OHIO native.”

  3. 2 to 3 billion dollars for copy cat designs. Can we try something unique for our city. How about queens crowns on top of the tower supports? None of the designs posted is imaginative or innovative. For 2 to 3 billion dollars, this better be an awesome bridge. Architects need to look at our history. What about a bridge that has paddle boat wheels on it somewhere. Be bold make a statement. Think artistically and compliment the skyline with a design worthy of the price tag and the beauty of our city.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: