A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Capitol Hill newspaper identifies Brent Spence Bridge as top infrastructure emergency in the nation

The Brent Spence is the number one infrastructure emergency in the United States and is threatening “both the economy and public safety”, according to a Washington-based newspaper that covers Congress and the federal government.

BSB (2)In a story posted on the website of The Hill that carries the headline “Five big infrastructure emergencies”, the Brent Spence Bridge tops the list.

Following is an excerpt from the story, which can be found here:

In addition to overcrowding and congestion, there are mounting concerns about the safety of the bridge after chunks of concrete fell from the upper deck onto the lower deck. Statistics also show that drivers are three to five times more likely to have a wreck along the corridor. Some transportation planners are calling on officials not only to rehabilitate the bridge, but also to construct a new one alongside it. Every year of delay in the start of construction costs the taxpayers nearly $75 million per year in inflation, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“The story is important because The Hill is read by members of Congress and their staffs, and they know about the dire condition of the Brent Spence Bridge,” said Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “It also provides a reminder to local legislators and elected officials what is obvious to those in Washington.”

The Chamber is a leading member of The Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition.

“The condition of the Brent Spence Bridge is not going to improve, it’s only going to get worse,” Meyer said. “The bridge is overcrowded, unsafe and a constant impediment to commerce and the important manufacturing corridor it creates.”

The Coalition to Build Our New Bridge Now (BN2) was recently formed as a 501(c)(4) organization. Membership will be comprised of business, community, labor and political leaders committed to the project.

The 52-year-old Brent Spence Bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles a day, double what it was built to accommodate. Each day, 40,000 trucks carry more than $1 billion in freight across the bridge. Daily backups on the bridge contribute to gridlock, lost productivity and dangerous, time-consuming commutes.

Replacing the bridge is expected to cost an estimated $2.5 billion. Due to inflation, the cost increases $8 million for each month that construction of the bridge is delayed.

The BN2 Coalition will push for the creation of a joint Ohio-Kentucky agreement to establish a bi-state effort that will recommend a plan to fund, finance, design and construct the new bridge and perform necessary rehabilitation on the existing Brent Spence Bridge. For more information on the coalition, click here .

The Coalition to Build Our New Bridge Now

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Adkins says:

    It is an infrastructure emergency – except to our GOP representatives and Senators. In 2003 that bridge could have been replaced for $750 million. But time and delay costs money – and by 2012 when I ran against Thomas Massie for Congress 4th District the cost of that bridge was over $2 billion. Now, after 4 years of no real representation in DC for the 4th District the cost of that bridge is approaching $3 billion with no bridge plan in sight. The bridge is a symptom of a larger plague, the failure and ineffectiveness of representatives like Thomas Massie and Rand Paul and the incompetence of Mitch McConnell who, as Obama is term limited at the end of his second term, is still trying to limit Obama to one term. Kentucky’s self imposed time in the desert is extended because Kentucky continues to elect do nothing Republicans (as if there were any other kind).

  2. Gayle Pille says:

    And to add to the above…Mr. Bevin believes that the bridge needs nothing more than a paint job!

  3. Marv Dunn says:

    It seems to me that a great opportunity was lost when the Speaker of the House was on the other side of the river, but Majority Leader McConnell was busy spreading hate for the President, Paul was busy running for President, and Massie was just jumping up and down, screaming and yelling “NO,NO,NO.”

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