Kentucky, Ohio Leaders announce more than $1.6 billion in federal grants awarded to Brent Spence Bridge corridor project

Photo Credit: Fox 19 Now

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project was awarded over $1.6 billion in federal grants and funding, moving the highly-anticipated project one step closer to reality.

“For decades, inadequate capacity on the aging Brent Spence Bridge has created headaches for drivers traveling between Kentucky and Ohio. Today, we’re taking a major step toward fixing the problem,” Leader McConnell said. “Using my role as Senate Republican Leader, I stood with Sen. Rob Portman to break through gridlock and pass last year’s bipartisan infrastructure deal, delivering record funding for landmark infrastructure projects including today’s grant. Building a new companion bridge on the Brent Spence Bridge corridor will be one of the bill’s crowning accomplishments, bringing long-awaited safety improvements, traffic relief and rejuvenated commerce to Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio.”

Sen. McConnell helped secure the funding for Thursday’s grant announcement by supporting last year’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and shepherding the bill through the Senate. The legislation authorized a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure and provides robust resources to states to fund major bridge projects specifically. Over five years, the IIJA will deliver billions of dollars to Kentucky to improve the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, airports, railroads, waterways, broadband and more. Sen. McConnell contacted U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to advocate directly for Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project funding.

“I’m thrilled the time has finally come for us to get the companion bridge built,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said. “Funding and constructing the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is more than the fulfillment of my administration’s promise – it’s a dream fulfilled for the thousands of travelers who pass through the bustling region every day waiting eagerly for traffic relief to come on this nationally significant corridor. It also shows what’s possible when we prioritize people over politics. Once complete, drivers will have a more enjoyable and efficient drive and we’ll have the infrastructure in place to support the booming economy in this part of the state. Hats off to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Ohio Department of Transportation, and the countless partners and advocates who played a role in today’s monumental achievement, including the Kentucky General Assembly for the last budget allocation and Sen. McConnell for supporting the federal legislation. We appreciate President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg for this historic investment.”

According to a press release, groundbreaking on the historic project is anticipated in late 2023 with substantial completion slated for 2029.

“Ohio and Kentucky have been discussing the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project for almost two decades, and now, we can finally move beyond the talk and get to work,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said. “This project will not only ease the traffic nightmare that drivers have suffered through for years, but it will also help ensure that the movement of the supply chain doesn’t stall on this nationally significant corridor. My administration vowed to press the federal government to fund this project, and we’re glad that they have recognized its significance. I’m grateful to the teams in both states who have worked so hard to make this project a reality.”

Constructed in the 1960s, the Brent Spence Bridge was designed to carry around 80,000 vehicles a day, but the daily traffic load on Interstate Highways 75 and 71 has doubled to reach 160,000 vehicles in recent years. Because I-75 is a key freight corridor stretching from Canada to Florida, the congestion impacts a tremendous amount of commerce and commuters navigating 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.

Stay tuned to the Bottom Line for more updates.

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Manager of Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

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