Following a pledge in February by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to work together to secure funding for improvements to the Brent Spence Corridor, on Tuesday, the governors announced they have jointly submitted an application for $2 billion in federal infrastructure funding for this project.
“Ohio and Kentucky are working together to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans who use the federal highway system to travel between our two states,” said Governor Beshear. “I pledged to fight for every available federal dollar and have a shovel-ready project once funding is secured. The time is now to invest in transformative infrastructure that supports our growing workforce and safe travel along one of the nation’s most important commerce corridors.”
“The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor is a vital centerpiece to the interstate system of the United States, and we are optimistic that the federal government will recognize the importance of this project for both our national economy and national security,” said Governor DeWine. “With the current supply chain crisis in our country, the issue of ensuring that this major transportation corridor stays open and moving has never been more urgent.”
Currently, the Brent Spence Bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles per day, which is twice the capacity it was designed for in 1963. Additionally, the bridge carries approximately three percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, with almost 43 million tons of goods by truck, each year.
The project aims to improve congestion, safety, and overall conditions surrounding the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor. Below are some key components of the grant application:
- Kentucky and Ohio are seeking $1.66 billion in federal grant funding through the Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant. The grant request represents approximately 60 percent of the remaining $2.77 billion project cost.
- Each state will also allocate significant state and other federal dollars toward the project. The states will split the cost of the new bridge 50/50, and each state will be responsible for the needed work on its side of the border.
- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently announced that engineering work on the project will move forward as the federal government considers the application.
- The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project will construct a critical companion bridge next to the existing Brent Spence Bridge to improve traffic flow and safety.
- Improvements will also be made to the interstate network on either side of the bridges throughout an eight-mile corridor from Dixie Highway in Kentucky to the Western Hills Viaduct interchange in Ohio.
The application also included more than 200 bipartisan statements of support for the project from business, transportation, political, civic, and community leaders in both Kentucky and Ohio.
Stay tuned for more infrastructure announcements on The Bottom Line.