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Beshear, DeWine seek $2 billion for Brent Spence Bridge companion project

 Brent Spence Bridge
Al Behrman
Associated Press
The Brent Spence Bridge, a major thoroughfare, runs from Cincinnati to Kentucky. The governors of Ohio and Kentucky are seeking federal money to build an alternate route to ease traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge.

Kentucky and Ohio governors Andy Beshear and Mike DeWine are asking for up to $2 billion in federal funding for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project. DeWine said most of that money would fund a companion bridge that gives drivers a travel route other than the Brent Spence Bridge.

"I think we all understand the national significance of this bridge," DeWine said. "The steps that we are taking today, the documents that we will be signing, we believe will position us in a perfect position to get the money that we need and to start construction on this bridge."

The money is part of the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill, which allocates $39 billion for bridge projects throughout the country. Both states agreed in a memorandum of understanding to contribute matching funding requirements, though more details won't be known until the U.S. Department of Transportation releases application guidelines.

Plans for the new bridge don't include tolls, making it the first time a viable plan for building a companion span doesn't include them.

The total cost of the companion bridge is expected to be about $2.8 billion, but both governors say they're committed to working together to find the additional money needed for the project.

"Building a companionto the Brent Spence Bridge will boost safety and ease a traffic bottleneck that increasingly impacts our communities as well as this entire country," Beshear said. "As so many goods flow across this essential commercial corridor, the need could not be greater. Today, the Brent Spence carries twice the vehicles each day it was designed to accommodate. The traffic delays and safety issues that this causes are felt profoundly by the people here in Northern Kentucky and across the river in Cincinnati."

More than 163,000 vehicles travel across the bridge every day, according to a 2019 study by the Kentucky Transportation Department.

The bridge was shut down for more than a month after a fiery crash involving two semi trucks forced the bridge to close in November 2020.
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Jolene Almendarez