The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge was dedicated in 1981 as the river crossing for I-471. The bridge is is the easternmost of the city's downtown bridge group, with the old L&N Bridge located 1/4 mile to the west and the I-275 Combs-Hehl Bridge about five miles to the east. I-471 interchanges with I-71 a mile north of the bridge, and in the same vicinity interchanges with the 3rd St. Viaduct, the 5th St. Viaduct, and 6th St. Like the Brent Spence Bridge, the I-471 Bridge carries heavy daily commuter traffic, but unlike its I-71/75 counterpart it carries no through traffic since it serves a spur highway.
Construction of the I-471 bridge's piers began in
and work began in 1972 on the first of its two trademark yellow tied
spans. The northbound span was jacked into place in August of
after which work began on the southbound span, reusing the same
in a money saving effort. The second span was jacked into place a
year later, and the bridge opened to limited traffic in 1977. The
bridge opened along with six nearby access ramps as the first segement
of I-471. The bridge was not dedicated until I-471 through
was completed in 1981, and did not carry a full traffic load until the
1985 completion of its connections with I-71.
A 1980 view of the bridge from the Carew Tower contrasts with the top view from 2000 --
fewer skyscrapers, no riverfront park, and little traffic on the bridge. I-471's fresh concrete
can be seen at right.
[Penny Simmons photo]
This post card from the late 1970's shows that the nickname was earned early in the bridge's life.
Also, the speed limit sign at left reads 35mph.
The bridge was repainted for the first time since
its construction in 2004. The
following two photographs were published in the July 27, 2004 online
edition of the Cincinnati Post.
The bridge's emergency shoulders were turned into
lanes recently in December 2000, coinciding with the reconstruction of
entrance and exit ramps from the 3rd St. Viaduct. But in anticipation
a 50% rise in traffic volume by 2020, two new three lane bridges have
proposed for either side of the current bridge. Presumably these new
would be tied arch bridges of a style matching the current bridge, but
no preliminary drawings have been made public and no official planning
is currently underway.
1. I-471 Bridge Photos
2. Back to Main