A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Letter to Editor: Thanks, Sec. Elaine Chao and U.S. DOT, for federal funding on critical infrastructure

Re: Secretary Elaine Chao and U.S. DOT

On August 24, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, visited Boone County to present a collective $74.5 million in federal grant funding for the region. A $67.4 million INFRA grant will leverage local investment to make improvements at the Richwood Road and Mt. Zion Road interchanges on I-71/I-75. Additionally, about $7.1 million in Airport Improvement Program or AIP grant funds, which are dollars derived from airport user fees, will help rehab the apron and baggage system at CVG Airport.

These investments are critical for Northern Kentucky—to ensure our continued economic growth and to improve the infrastructure that enables private investment to take place.

Elaine Chao and Candace McGraw

Unemployment rates in Northern Kentucky are among the lowest in recent history: 3.2% in Boone County, 3.1% in Campbell County, and 3.3% in Kenton County in May 2018. In 2017, new and existing businesses in the three-county area also announced or made $1.75 billion in capital investment, including the decision by Amazon to build its Air Cargo Hub at CVG.

These statistics and the underlying economic growth represent jobs and economic opportunity for our community. Apart from supplying a skilled and talented workforce to staff these jobs, our region must continue to provide the necessary critical infrastructure to make such growth possible. With many projects planned or being built, such as urban developments in Covington and Newport or those adjacent to CVG, more businesses, employees, and residents living and working here will need a strengthened infrastructure grid.

The nearly $75 million in grants that Secretary Chao announced will be a catalyst for growth in Northern Kentucky and all of Greater Cincinnati, and we are grateful for her leadership. The support of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Secretary will spur additional economic growth—attracting new businesses, creating more jobs, and ensuring Northern Kentucky remains a vibrant place to live and work for many years to come.

We thank Secretary Chao and her Department for their belief in our region’s potential and look forward to getting to work.

Gary Moore, Judge/Executive, Boone County, Kentucky
Steve Pendery, Judge/Executive, Campbell County, Kentucky
Kris Knochelmann, Judge/Executive, Kenton County, Kentucky
Candace McGraw, CEO, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

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