Cincinnati (AP) — Kentucky and Ohio are spending $1.6 billion to build a new Ohio River bridge near Cincinnati and improve the existing overload span, a frequently used freight route connecting the Midwest and South. It will get more than $30 million in federal grants, officials said Thursday. .
Congestion at the Brent Spence Bridge on Interstates 75 and 71 has been a frustration for travelers and a bottleneck on a major transportation route for years, thus contributing to the country’s growing infrastructure needs. It has become a symbol. According to officials, the bridge was built in the 1960s to carry about 80,000 vehicles a day, but its narrow lane saw twice as much traffic as it did on federal roads. The Bureau declared it functionally obsolete.
of Planned project It covers approximately 8 miles (12 kilometers) and includes improvements to the bridge and some connecting roads, as well as the construction of a companion span nearby.two states adjusted Call for funds under bipartisan infrastructure deal It was signed last year by Democratic President Joe Biden, who was promoting the project while legislation was being considered.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky said in a statement Thursday that the companion bridge “will be one of the bill’s crowning achievements.”
Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Andy Beshear called the money “one of the largest grants in U.S. history” and said it would help build a new bridge without tolls.
Officials expect to break ground in late 2023 and hope to have much of the work completed by 2029.
“Ohio and Kentucky have been talking about the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project for almost 20 years, and now we can finally finish talking and get to work,” said Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. said in a statement.
Ohio and Kentucky also spend state budgets on projects. Inflation and higher construction costs have pushed the estimated total price to about $3.6 billion, officials said.