Debate Stalls on Brent Spence Bridge Project

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

This post was written by KET public affairs reporter John Gregory.

Anyone who has travelled along I-71 and I-75 through northern Kentucky to Cincinnati and beyond knows that the Brent Spence Bridge can be a bottleneck. The narrow lanes on the double-decker span are prone to accidents and drive-time congestion. It’s little wonder, given that the bridge now handles 100,000 more vehicles a day than it was designed to carry. For locals who travel the that route each day, their commute can be a nightmare.

On Monday’s Kentucky Tonight, Bill Goodman discussed the Brent Spence Bridge and options for addressing its traffic problems. His guests were Covington Mayor Sherry Carran; Brent Cooper, interim president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Brian Ellerman, general counsel for the Toebben Companies; and Covington Mayor Pro Tem and Commissioner Steve Frank.

A plan to repair of the 50-year old bridge and construct an adjacent second span has become a divisive topic. Local business leaders argue the project is vital to the economic health of the region, while some civic officials debate the need for a new bridge, and others balk at the tolls that will likely be needed to help pay the $2.6 billion price tag.

Click here to watch the full Kentucky Tonight discussion, or click here to read a recap of the conversation.

Tune in next Monday night at 8 when the topic will be the state budget and tax reform. The scheduled guests are Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy; State Sen. David Givens (R-Greensburg), vice chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee; State Rep. Rick Rand (D-Bedford), chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee; and Bryan Sunderland, senior vice president of public affairs for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

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