Federal and State Action is Needed Now to Revitalize Local Infrastructure Projects

Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 9:45am

Revitalization of the Brent Spence Bridge corridor has been a topic of discussion for decades. Currently the bridge is carrying twice the traffic it was designed for and is a notorious chokepoint for commuters. Between federal and state action there’s an opportunity to revitalize the Brent Spence Bridge corridor and invest in critical regional infrastructure projects this year. It’s time to stop talking and start acting.

To help bring attention to this important topic, today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a local campaign that includes digital advertising, earned media, editorial, and social media aspects. The digital ad can be viewed here and below. 

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Brent Spence Bridge

“The American people have had to deal with the consequences of infrastructure inaction for far too long. We have spent decades talking about fixing the Brent Spence Bridge. It is time to stop talking and start acting.  We are calling on Congress to pass an infrastructure bill by the Fourth of July that can help fix this bridge and fund long overdue projects throughout the region and across the country.” – Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The Brent Spence Bridge is critical not just to Greater Cincinnati, but to our national economy as well.  Carrying Interstates 71 and 75 between Ohio and Kentucky, the Bridge is an essential segment of a major freight corridor.  We cannot allow that corridor to continue to be bottlenecked by an outdated bridge, far exceeding its daily capacity.  In the last transportation bill, we were successful in enacting a grant program for projects of national and regional significance, which should serve as the primary source of federal funding for the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge.  Now, we have to build on that success, reauthorize the grant program, and identify the local funding sources necessary to complete this vitally important project.” – Congressman Steve Chabot, U.S. House of Representatives, R-OH-1

“Rebuilding our nation’s outdated infrastructure will be a key component in supporting America’s 21st Century economy. There are important projects around the tri-state region, including the Brent Spence Bridge, that will require cooperation between the federal, state, and local governments. I’m hopeful that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to find responsible solutions to these challenges for the American people." – Congressman Brad Wenstrup, U.S. House of Representatives, R-OH-2

“The Brent Spence Bridge is not a local bridge with local traffic. It carries two interstate highways and tens of thousands of cars and trucks every day. It’s an indispensable connector on one of the most important traffic corridors in the eastern United States, but it’s being asked to do far more than it was built for. A second bridge is urgently needed, not only to share the traffic load but also for the economic stimulus it would provide. Kentucky and Ohio are willing to do their part. Congress needs to step up as well. Congress needs to meet its obligations on our interstate system and at least provide significant help on financing a new bridge to complement the Brent Spence.” – Andrew Beshear, Governor of Kentucky

“With its international airport and its highway connections, Northern Kentucky is strategically situated to be a leading hub in the country for air and highway freight. But for Northern Kentucky to reach its full potential, its traffic congestion issues must be solved. The Brent Spence Bridge is solid and sturdy but is being asked to carry twice the number of vehicles it was designed for, and so it becomes a traffic bottleneck. The bottleneck, however, isn’t confined to the immediate area of the bridge itself. It’s a problem along the entire Brent Spence corridor. The solution is the added capacity of a companion bridge.” – Jim Gray, Kentucky Secretary of Transportation

“The Brent Spence Bridge corridor is a vital transportation structure serving thousands of commuters a day and allowing local businesses to access important markets. However, the bridge continues to experience an increase in vehicles, accidents that shut down operations, falling concrete, and is ranked in the top 10 of bottlenecks in the country. For the sake of our safety and local economy, we need action both at the state and federal level to help improve our local infrastructure.” – Brent Cooper, President and CEO, NKY Chamber of Commerce.

“The Brent Spence Bridge is not just a key part of our local economy, but it is a backbone of our nation’s economy as well. It connects people and products and fixing it must be a national priority. The bridge has experienced an increase in vehicular traffic and accidents that shut down operations. It’s a 20th century bridge not fit for a 21st century economy. With nearly 3% of the nation’s annual GDP traveling on a substandard and obsolete bridge that connects people from Michigan to Miami, we need action now to help improve our local infrastructure.” – Jill Meyer, President and CEO, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

“There is no better example of the need for increased infrastructure funding than the Brent Spence Bridge. Every day 3% of the nation’s GDP crosses the bridge. So when it is closed down, or there are delays, the impacts on our economy are severe. As we work toward economic recovery, we must prioritize infrastructure funding at both the state and federal level.” – Ashli Watts, President and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

“Transportation infrastructure in general is essential to business growth and success, and the Brent Spence Bridge is one of Ohio’s most vital links to the global economy. However, the Brent Spence carries twice the number of vehicles per day than it was originally was built to handle, leading to major safety and congestion issues that threaten economic productivity. For the sake of our economy and our safety, we need action at the federal level to help modernize our transportation system, clear gridlock, and ensure the free flow of commerce.” – Keith Lake, Vice President of Government Affairs, Ohio Chamber of Commerce

“The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18, and our 16,000 members covering Ohio and Northern Kentucky would like to add our support to ending the Brent Spence Bridge’s gridlock by constructing a new companion bridge. We have kicked the can down the road for far too long with this issue that negatively affects the motoring public and our local and interstate commerce. The time is now, “Build the Bridge.”” – Richard E. Dalton, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 16

"LIUNA members are ready to get to work on the Brent Spence Bridge and the many thousands of deficient bridges across our nation. We need Congress to act now on a robust infrastructure bill that builds bridges and roads as well as our water and energy systems." – Justin Phillips, Business Manager, Laborers Local 265

"The Brent Spence Bridge is a vital link that connects six states in the Eastern United States and carries over 3% of the nation's GDP.  This is not just an infrastructure issue for Kentucky and Ohio, but one that has national implications should we not invest in our infrastructure.  This one bridge alone has seen more than doubling its designed traffic flow, which leads to safety issues as well as lost economic activity when accidents cause this vital link to be shut down or motorists wait in traffic.  Our infrastructure is crumbling.  Now is the time for both the state and federal governments to make an investment in our infrastructure- an investment in our future so that our economy can continue to grow." – Brett D. Ruffing, Executive Director, Kentucky Concrete Association