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DeWine and Beshear request nearly $2B in federal money for Brent Spence Bridge

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Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
The I-71/I-75 bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles per day, twice the capacity it was designed to do when it opened in 1963.

The $2 billion is only 60% of what the multi-state project — including a companion bridge and road improvements — would cost.

Facing a critical need for a safer bridge on one of America’s busiest traveled roadways, governors from Ohio and Kentucky have applied for nearly $2 billion in federal funding for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor.

The idea of a new bridge has been in the works for decades, but the states have had trouble deciding how to pay for it. This $1.66 billion in federal grant funding, through the Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant would be just 60% of the remaining $2.77 billion.

“The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor is a vital centerpiece to the interstate system of the United States, and we are optimistic that the federal government will recognize the importance of this project for both our national economy and national security,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “With the current supply chain crisis in our country, the issue of ensuring that this major transportation corridor stays open and moving has never been more urgent.”

The corridor project includes a bridge next to the existing Brent Spence Bridge which would improve traffic flow and safety. Improvement plans are also in the works for I-71/I-75, the Western Hills Viaduct interchange in Ohio and Dixie Highway in Kentucky.

“Ohio and Kentucky are working together to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans who use the federal highway system to travel between our two states,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “I pledged to fight for every available federal dollar and have a shovel-ready project once funding is secured. The time is now to invest in transformative infrastructure that supports our growing workforce and safe travel along one of the nation’s most important commerce corridors.”

Ohio and Kentucky will split the cost of the new bridge and each state will pay for needed work on its side of the border.