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Brent Spence study includes possible models & tolls

Michael Keating

A new study, commissioned by Ohio and Kentucky, has narrowed procurement models for the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge project from four to two and projected a range of tolls.

  1. Design-Build- The states finance the project through a possible combination of federal, state, federal loan and bond funding. After a request for proposals, contractors provide designs and plans and the selected contractor builds the project. Tolls would be used to repay the financing of the project .
  2. Availability Payment Concession- A contractor finances and builds the project and is repaid on a regular schedule over many years. Tolls would be used to repay the financing of the project .

The study listed the following range of tolls: $1 to $2 for cars; $3 to $6 for light trucks; and $5 to $10 for tractor trailers.  These are just estimates and the toll rates could change.


Within a few weeks the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will decide on which procurement plan to recommend to Ohio Governor John Kasich and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

States will determine a financing plan. Kentucky must submit its plan by the end of December. Ohio does not have a time limit.

The Kentucky legislature would have to change the law so the state can allow tolls with Ohio.

Ground could be broken in 2015 and then there would be a five year construction period.

Traffic Woes

According to a Texas Transportation Institute Study, motorists waste 3.6 million hours and 1.6 million gallons of fuel sitting in traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge each year.

More than 3% of the nation's gross domestic product, or $417 billion, crosses the bridge each year and that number is expected to grow to $830 billion by 2030.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology