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Cincinnati Bridges: A Primer

In most cities, bridges are called by their official names—the ones that appear on the road signs and are printed on the local maps. But in Cincinnati things are a bit more complicated than that. Travelers need to be aware of what the city's bridges are really called around town before attempting to drive in the Queen City. Commit this list to memory—or keep it close at hand. Your map won't help you here.

The proper name of the bridge that connects the eastern portion of Cincinnati with Northern Kentucky is the Combs-Hehl Bridge. Among locals, however, it's simply the "275 Bridge," because it is part of the I–275 highway system.

The Daniel Beard Bridge crosses the Ohio River from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky and is part of the I–471 system. But local motorists refer to it as the "Big Mac Bridge," because of its yellow arches.

The double-decker Brent Spence Bridge connects Cincinnati and Covington. Both I–75 and I–71 cross over it. Many locals call it the I–75 bridge or the "Car Strangled Banner."

Two exceptions to this rule are the L&N Bridge and the Taylor Southgate Bridge. The L&N Bridge connects Pete Rose Way in Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky and is so named because the L&N railroad tracks also run on it. The Taylor Southgate Bridge, which connects Newport, Kentucky, to Cincinnati is a fairly new bridge that's also called by its proper name—for now. Give Cincinnatians some time to think about it.

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