President Biden Heads to Kentucky to Highlight Funding for Aging Bridge

Jan. 4, 2023
The Brent Spence Bridge is a symbol of the nations crumbling infrastructure

President Joe Biden is visiting Kentucky today to visit the Brent Spence Bridge, an aging bridge that connects Kentucky and Ohio, showcase the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and meet with Mitch McConnell

“It’s a giant bridge, man,” Biden said this week when asked about his planned trip to the Brent Spence Bridge. “It’s a lot of money. It’s important.”

President Biden's visit is also an effort to showcase bipartisanship.

That new effort kicks off as Biden stops in northern Kentucky at the perennially congested bridge spanning the Ohio River that has frustrated motorists for decades. The IIJA will offer more than $1.63 billion in federal grants to Ohio and Kentucky to build a companion bridge that will help unclog traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge.

Other top administration officials are holding similar events Wednesday and Thursday at other major bridges in the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is stopping by the collection of bridges crossing the Calumet River in Chicago. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was appearing at the Gold Star Memorial Bridge in New London, Connecticut, and White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu was to be at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

All the bridges will get new funding under the IIJA.

The Brent Spence Bridge was declared functionally obsolete by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the 1990s.

The president will be accompanied at the Brent Spence Bridge by McConnell, Senator Sherrod Brown, former Senator Rob Portman, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Officials hope much of the work on the new project will be completed by 2029.

Biden dismissed any notion that the trip to northern Kentucky was about highlighting his longstanding relationship with McConnell. McConnell is a supporter of the IIJA and has said repairing the Brent Spence Bridge has long been a priority.

“This is a bridge that has been a major national issue for 25 years, my top transportation project for decades. And it’s going to be fully funded by the infrastructure bill, which I supported,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “It’s important for me to be there.”



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