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Roughly $1.6 billion secured for new Brent Spence Bridge construction

CINCINNATI — After decades of promises and years of negotiations, the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor improvements have finally received funding from President Joe Biden, a bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law in 2021. rice field.

According to a press release by Governors Andy Beshear and Mike DeWine, the U.S. Department of Transportation has formally awarded $1.635 billion in funding to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

“Ohio and Kentucky have been talking about the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project for almost 20 years, and now we can finally finish talking and get to work,” DeWine said in a press release. Drivers have been plagued with nightmares for years, but it also helps keep supply chain movements from bogging down in this nationally important corridor. ”

When Governors Andy Beshear and Mike DeWine signed a memorandum seeking federal funding from the Infrastructure Act in February, they announced that the entire Brent Spence Bridge project would have three components. , improving existing bridges and reworking his I-71/75 on both sides of the Ohio River. The companion bridge will be toll-free, the governors said.

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell said in a press release, “For decades, the inadequate capacity of the aging Brent Spence Bridge has been an obstacle for drivers traveling between Kentucky and Ohio. “Today we took a big step towards solving the problem.”

Beshear and DeWine estimate the total cost of the entire project to be $3.6 billion, and expect about $1.66 billion required by the Infrastructure Act to fund the new bridge.

“This historic amount of support from President Biden and our partners in the federal government will help us build infrastructure and regional economic growth for generations to come,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said in a press release. “It means we’re on pace to rebuild.” And we are ready to push this groundbreaking project to the finish line.”

In early December, Gov. Andy Beshear received a call “with a pin and a needle” that federal funding would be approved for a project aimed at building a brand-new bridge across the Ohio River next to the existing Brent Spence Bridge. ‘I’m waiting.

“Kentucky has already contributed $250 million and is budgeting for it. We are ready,” he said in a Dec. 12 interview. “And when you get a call saying you won these grant making processes, it’s on.”

Built in 1963, the Brent Spence Bridge carries about 3% of US GDP each year. It is considered “functionally obsolete”.

The bridge has officially been in need of replacement since at least 1998, when the Federal Highway Administration determined that the bridge was no longer serving traffic demand.

Senator Sherrod Brown said: “We will continue to work to ensure Ohio gets its fair share of infrastructure funding, or more.”

The new project will maintain local traffic on the existing bridge, and the accompanying bridge will provide highway traffic expressway through downtown Cincinnati and the Covington Corridor.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article reported that the total project cost was out of date. Updated.