The Rundown

Ohio, Kentucky governors request federal funding for Brent Spence

By: - May 25, 2022 3:50 am

An application for nearly $2 billion in federal funding was submitted by the governors of Ohio and Kentucky specifically targeting the Brent Spence Bridge corridor that spans the borders of the two states.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said they asked for $1.66 billion from the Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant, a program through the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $2.9 billion in available funding through the program in March, as part of the new infrastructure law. The deadline to apply for funding was Monday.

The Brent Spence Bridge corridor project will include a “companion bridge” next to the existing bridge, which goes from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky via I-71 and I-75.

The two governors called the corridor a “vital centerpiece to the interstate system of the United States,” and said it is an important thoroughfare for the national economy. Data provided by the governors’ offices said the bridge carries 160,000 vehicles per day, double what the bridge was designed to accommodate in 1963 when it was opened.

“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,” DeWine said in a statement.

The grant funding Beshear and DeWine requested is about 60% of the project cost, they said in a statement announcing the application. Other funding will come from the two states and other federal dollars, a press release stated, though it didn’t give specific sources for the remaining funds.

“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 press release stated.

Improvements are also planned to the Western Hills viaduct interchange in Ohio and the Dixie Highway in Kentucky as part of the “interstate network” surrounding the bridge.

The project has bipartisan support from congressional leaders, including Ohio U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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