The Brent Space Bridge is a wreck. Spanning the Ohio River to connect Cincinnati with northern Kentucky, every day about 155,000 vehicles cross the 40-year-old bridge; it was never designed to handle more than 130,000 cars and trucks daily.
The on- and off- ramps to the bridge are short and are squeezed tightly together, lanes are narrow, signs are difficult to see and there is a complete lack of emergency lanes. According to a report from The Cincinnati Enquirer, the bridge places 7 out of 15 for highest accident rate among major American bridges that have been labeled "functionally obsolete."
The Enquirer report found that a driver is five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash on the Brent Space Bridge than while traveling on interstate highways in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Just recently, on January 13, there was a serious tractor-trailer accident on the bridge involving a truck that was hauling thousands of gallons of beer. A full load of Bud Light spilled onto the bridge, and the crash closed southbound I-71/75 for hours. While beer literally flowing in the streets almost sounds like a joke, it was no joke for those harmed.
Plans to engineer a new bridge to replace the Brent Space are moving slowly due to cost barriers and the complexity of the undertaking. For the time being, motorists will have to risk crossing the span, and the dangers posed by such a stretch of roadway.
Municipal authorities, product manufacturers, other motorists potentially bear liability
If you are harmed in a car accident, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for the harm done to you from a few different sources. In the context of dangerous roadways, one of the most relevant is the entity responsible for maintaining the road. Most of the time, this is a municipality. Contractors working on a road construction project who failed to put in place proper signage, left debris on the road, failed to erect proper barriers or otherwise compromised roadway safety and caused an accident may also be held liable.
Manufacturers of dangerous products are also commonly liable for motor vehicle accidents. Generally, a defective vehicle component is no more or less likely to malfunction and cause an accident on a dangerous road than it is anywhere else. But, certain types of construction or maintenance equipment being used on or near a roadway can certainly present a unique danger to nearby motorists if they are defective.
Of course, other drivers who cause an accident by being negligent - or their insurers - can be held liable for resulting damages. Just because the state of a roadway makes it more dangerous than other stretches of road does not remove the responsibility every motorist has to drive in as safe a manner as possible; on the contrary, traveling on a hazardous roadway makes it all the more important to drive with extreme caution.
Talk to a Cincinnati lawyer today if a car accident has caused you harm
You have a right to be safe on the road; anyone who impairs that right should be held accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, especially if it occurred on the Brent Space Bridge or any other stretch of highway battered by years of abuse, you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with an attorney in the Cincinnati area as soon as possible to explore your legal options and to ensure you get the full compensation to which you are entitled.