Daniel Carter Beard Bridge

    Daniel Carter Beard Bridge

    The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge carries Interstate 471 over the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Newport, Kentucky.


    Planning for a second interstate bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Kentucky began in 1961 when public meetings were held discussing the proposal of an expressway from Interstates 71 and 75 at the Brent Spence Bridge east through Covington and Newport where the highway would swing north into Ohio. The riverfront expressway proposal plans were soon dropped after intense opposition as the route would claim a significant portion of the city’s historic districts.

    A new plan for a highway through Newport was later unveiled that included a bridge over the Ohio River between the east side of downtown Cincinnati and Newport, linking Interstate 71 to the proposed Circle Freeway (Interstate 275) on the southern fringes of the region. Right-of-way acquisition for the river crossing began in January 1968, and construction began on the bridge in November 1971 after initial construction bids sought in the fall of 1970 were rejected as too high. 1 2

    The twin arch structure was designed by Hazelet + Erdal and opened to traffic in September 1976, connecting Interstate 71 in Ohio to KY Route 8 in Newport (Interstate 471 was later opened southward to US Route 27 in Alexandria). It was completed at the cost of $14 million. On October 5, the bridge was named after Daniel Carter Beard, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America. 1 The Scouts had lobbied hard for the span to bear his name, with some paddling down the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers to carry petitions to the governor in Frankfort, Kentucky.

    The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge was formally dedicated on February 14, 1977, with Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown leading the dedication ceremonies. 1

    Initially carrying three lanes in each direction, the bridge was restriped for four lanes in each direction after the breakdown shoulder was eliminated in December 2000.



    • State: Kentucky, Ohio
    • Route: Interstate 471
    • Type: Steel Arch
    • Status: Active - Automobile
    • Total Length: 2,099 feet
    • Main Span Length: 750 feet
    • Deck Width: 50 feet (each bridge); 100 feet (total)
    • Above Vertical Clearance: 18 feet


    1. Reis, Jim. “Change in direction – East-west route along riverfront once envisioned for Interstate 471.” Kentucky Post, 9 May 2005, p. K4.
    2. Reis, Jim. “I-471′s birth slow to come.” Kentucky Post, 30 Nov. 1998, p. 4K.

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