The Taylor-Southgate Bridge was first proposed in the mid-1980s as a connection between Main Street in Covington, Kentucky and Third Street Cincinnati, Ohio. It was designed to relieve traffic from the adjacent Roebling Suspension Bridge. Federal funding was secured in 1986 by former congressman Gene Snyder, a Jefferson County Republican.(2) However, funding and location wrangling between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the City of Cincinnati curtailed the project until 1991.(1)
At topic was funding contributions from the city of Cincinnati. In early 1990, the states of Ohio and Kentucky had requested $10 million from the city towards the $56 million project, although the city had refused to expend on the bridge.(3) The strong disagreement from the city caused officials of Ohio, which had committed $10 million to the bridge, to threaten to switch the state’s contribution to construct a bridge between Maysville, Kentucky and Aberdeen, Ohio. Kentucky had committed $7 million towards the bridge, while the federal government had committed $28.5 million.
Another lingering issue was a warehouse along the Ohio River on the Cincinnati side that created design problems for the bridge project. The property, Cincinnati Commercial Warehouse, was refrigerated and demolishing it would be costly.(3)
In 1991 the City council approved to spend $25,000 to cover staff work on designs and right-of-way review,(2) and agreed to spend $4 million on the bridge but not until 1994. Other money for the project included $8.5 million from Kentucky, $12.9 million from Ohio, $2 million from Hamilton County, Ohio, and $28.5 million from the federal government.
The $56 million bridge was projected to start in 1996,(1) but was completed in 1995. The crossing was named after James Taylor, Jr. and Richard Southgate, two early settlers of Newport.(4)
- Type: Continuous Truss
- Main span length: 850 feet
- Total length: 1,850 feet
- Number of lanes: 4
- Straub, Bill. “N. Kentucky road projects pushed back.” Kentucky Post 14 Feb. 1992. 24 Nov. 2007: 9A.
- Straub, Bill and Sara Sturmon. “Warehouse stands in way of bridge plans.” Kentucky Post 22 June 1991. 24 Nov. 2007: 5K.
- Houck, Jeanne. “Bowman, Mann meet to discuss new bridge.” Kentucky Post 28 Dec. 1990. 24 Nov. 2007: 2K.
- Reis, Jim. “Samuel Bigstaff: A Mover and Shaker Little Remembered Today.” Pieces of the Past 2:60-63. Rootsweb. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.