On Monday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine hosted a press conference to announce that the two states will be working together to secure federal funding to address issues surrounding the Brent Spence Bridge.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity in our history,” said Governor DeWine pointing to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year, which has dedicated $39 billion for bridge projects.
After today’s announcement, both states will start the process of applying for federal grant funding provided by the legislation. If funding is granted, both states have agreed to contribute any required matching funds.
“The signing of this document is a very clear and public show of action by both states,” said Dr. Jack Marchbanks, director of Ohio Department of Transportation. “This critical step will help be competitive in the federal grant process and will allow the bi-state team to start moving this project forward.”
The memorandum of understanding aims to align efforts to improve safety and ease congestion, make improvements to the existing Brent Spence bridge, build a new companion bridge that will divert traffic, and rework sections of the interstate on both sides of the bridge.
“I believe this project is the poster child for the Federal Infrastructure Act,” said Governor Beshear while highlighting the Brent Spence Bridge’s importance to the region and the nation and the opportunity for economic growth the project brings.
Governor Beshear thanked U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth for their leadership in passing the legislation. Beshear read the following statement from Leader McConnell during the press conference:
“I’m glad Kentucky and Ohio’s governors are taking this important step today to make sure this project gets done. I was proud to support last year’s landmark bipartisan infrastructure deal because I know the vast, positive impact it will have on our state and economy. Already, Kentucky is slated to receive more than $5 billion in federal funds to improve our roads, bridges, riverports, railways, broadband and more. The bill also created several competitive grant programs for which states like Kentucky and Ohio can apply to help address major projects like the Brent Spence Bridge.”
Governor Beshear also recognized members of the Kentucky General Assembly and other state leaders in attendance during the press conference and thanked them for their dedication to modernizing Kentucky’s transportation systems.