Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear this week announced a joint pursuit of up to $2 billion in federal funding to support the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project.
The goal of the project is to significantly reduce traffic congestion on and around the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington, Kentucky, to Cincinnati, Ohio, according to a news release from Gov. Beshear's office.
If awarded to Kentucky and Ohio, the requested funds would primarily be used to construct a new companion bridge over the Ohio River to give drivers an alternative to the Brent Spence Bridge. The planned transportation project will not replace the Brent Spence Bridge, but would make improvements to the existing bridge. The second bridge will add capacity by separating local and through traffic to ease the ongoing traffic backups.
The two governors signed a memorandum of understanding confirming the intention of their states to work together on the bridge project.
“With today’s signing, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the State of Ohio are aligning our efforts to make this project a reality,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement. “This memorandum spells out our obligations and positions us to quickly apply for these federal dollars, which will allow us not only to build this new bridge, but to do it without tolls!”
"For decades, the backups on the Brent Spence Bridge have frustrated drivers, hindered economic development, and slowed supply chain deliveries. Today, a solution is in reach, and we are committed to aggressively working together to secure this funding to help us fix this transportation nightmare once and for all," Gov. DeWine said in a statement.
The funding would come from the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which includes around $40 billion in dedicated funding for bridge projects.
The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet consider the Brent Spence Bridge to be a critical link along an 8-mile corridor from the Western Hills Viaduct in Ohio to Dixie Highway in Kentucky. The current anticipated project cost is $2.8 billion, which will be shared by each state.
Back in November 2020, a truck accident on the Brent Spence Bridge caused a fire that damaged a portion of the bridge. After forty-one days of emergency repairs and closures, the bridge was reopened to traffic, fully restored.
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Andy Beshear | Office of Gov. Mike DeWine