Quick Takes

Brent Spence Bridge project to move ahead next year with $1.6 billion from feds

By: - December 29, 2022 1:15 pm
Brent Spence Bridge spans the Ohio between Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. (Ohio Department of Transportation photo)

Groundbreaking for long-awaited improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, connecting Kentucky and Ohio, is expected late next year with “substantial completion slated for 2029,” Gov. Andy Beshear’s office announced Thursday.

The project has been awarded $1.6 billion in federal grants, “giving the landmark bridge and corridor project the green light to move toward construction,” said the release, which was a joint announcement with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

The newly announced funding comes from last year’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Republican Leader McConnell helped shepherd into law.

In a Thursday news conference, Beshear called the project “historic” for not only its bipartisan support across Kentucky, Ohio and the federal level, but also the level of funding which makes the grant one of the largest infrastructure grants in the country’s history.

“There are going to be disruptions. They’re going to be years where you’re going to have to take alternate routes, and there might be more traffic here or there,” the governor said. “There’s going to be heavy equipment moving around but let me tell you, once that gets done, the opportunities that’s going to open up to your kids and your kids’ kids are going to be worth it. This is a game changer.”

The release from Beshear’s office says:

The Brent Spence Bridge was constructed in the 1960s to carry around 80,000 vehicles a day, but the daily traffic load on Interstate Highways 75 and 71 has reached 160,000 vehicles in recent years. Because I-75 is a key freight corridor stretching from Canada to Florida, the congestion impacts commerce and commuters who travel the corridor in the eastern United States.

Project plans call for the construction of a companion bridge to the west of the existing Brent Spence Bridge, as well as improvements to the current bridge and the roadway network that ties into each river crossing. As a result of robust engagement with local partners, there will be enhanced pedestrian access across I-75 in Cincinnati to reconnect downtown with western neighborhoods and the City of Cincinnati will regain nearly 10 acres to develop in the downtown area. In Kentucky, the project will include a new storm sewer system to reduce flooding and improve local roads, including enhanced pedestrian and bicycle facilities, in the area of the existing and new bridge.

Read the rest of the news release here.

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