OPINION: No more temporary fixes to the Brent Spence Bridge

Friday, March 5, 2021 - 12:45pm

Union and business leaders don’t always share the same priorities or concerns. But both of us think about the Brent Spence Bridge every day. We wish we didn’t.

On this we agree: It’s scary, costly, unacceptable – and it must be fixed. 

Safety is top of mind for our workers, customers and families. Due to the congestion, every day that our employees, coworkers, friends, families and neighbors drive through the corridor we risk their safety and our own. Every single day.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, drivers are 3 to 5 times more likely to have an accident along the Brent Spence corridor than any other portion of the interstate systems of Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. Over 600 accidents per year. Why? Because it’s the second-most congested corridor in the country.

It’s apparent how the lack of investments in infrastructure have led to a dangerous and costly situation. While there are examples like it all over the country, the Brent Spence Bridge is the poster child for inaction.

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Congress is once again talking about a major infrastructure package. But we’re tired of all talk and no action from our elected officials. It’s time for us to start judging them based on what they do, and not just what they say. We are calling on Congress to enact a bill by the Fourth of July.

Out-of-date infrastructure is a problem that impacts commerce in all 50 states. Let's see if our elected officials can finally do something about it.

Brent Cooper is president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Tim Donoghue is president of the Northern Kentucky AFL-CIO Labor Council.