Brown Supports Effort To Advance Brent Spence Bridge Project

In Advance of Meeting in Covington, KY Today, Brown Expresses Support for the Ohio and Kentucky Governors’ Efforts and Pledge to Work Together to Move Forward with Brent Spence Bridge Repairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) and Gov. Steve Beshear’s (D-KY) meeting in Covington, KY today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed support for efforts to accelerate replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge. Kasich and Beshear announced an agreement to create a dedicated, cross-state management team to explore financing options for improvements on the bridge spanning the Ohio River and connecting both states. In advance of the governors’ meeting, Brown pledged to support the project on the federal level.

“The Brent Spence Bridge carries millions of dollars of our nation’s goods across the Ohio-Kentucky state line every day,” Brown said. “That’s why it’s so important that both state and federal leaders work together to ensure this bridge renovation moves forward. When companies decide where to locate, expand, and invest, water, transportation and energy infrastructure are critical factors in the decision. We must do everything we can to make cities like Cincinnati and Covington ideal cites for investment.”

Brown worked to insert Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) program in the Highway bill. This program particularly helps projects like the Brent Spence Bridge that are large in scale and fall under more than one jurisdiction.

 

Three percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) crosses the Brent-Spence Bridge—which needs critical repairs—each year. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSE) released a report that said failing infrastructure could cost the U.S. $2.7 trillion—or $129 billion a year— in lost productivity, and income in trade in the coming decades. ACSE reports that more than one in four of the nation’s bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and that about one-third of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

 

In Aug. 2011, Brown first announced plans for legislation to create the national infrastructure bank in Cincinnati at Parsons Brinckerhoff with the Brent Spence Bridge in the background. At a press conference with Kroger, UPS, and labor representatives, Brown outlined new jobs legislation that would create a national infrastructure bank to provide loans and loan guarantees for critical infrastructure projects of national and regional importance that create and protect jobs, increase economic competitiveness, bolster exports, and encourage private investment.

 

The full text of the letters to Gov. Kasich and Gov. Beshear is below.

 

 

December 12, 2012

 

 

John Kasich                                                                           

Governor                                                                                

Riffe Center, 30th Floor                                                          

77 S. High Street                                                                    

Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

Dear Governor Kasich:

 

I write to offer my support for the Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky regarding the future construction of a new I-71/I-75 bridge connecting the two states.  Moving ahead with this project is an economic imperative that is of great importance to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. 

 

Clearly, the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge, one of the 15 major interstate bridges which the federal government has labeled “functionally obsolete,” will improve the flow of traffic on this busy freight corridor and increase driver safety.  While much remains to be done, recent federal reforms will streamline permitting and accelerate construction timelines saving taxpayer dollars.  As these and other reforms are implemented by the Federal Highway Administration, I am hopeful that they will be utilized by both states.

 

I strongly support the ongoing collaborative approach on both sides of the river to identify the best options for rebuilding the Brent Spence Bridge.  These efforts are ensuring continued progress on this important initiative that will have positive economic effects for our states and the region.  I look forward to partnering with you on this important project.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

 

 

 

 

December 12, 2012

 

Steve Beshear

Governor                                                                                

700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

 

Dear Governor Beshear:

 

We write to voice our support for the Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky regarding the future construction of a new I-71/I-75 bridge connecting the two states.  Moving ahead with this project is an economic imperative that is of great importance to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. 

 

Clearly, the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge, one of the 15 major interstate bridges which the federal government has labeled “functionally obsolete,” will improve the flow of traffic on this busy freight corridor and increase driver safety.  While much remains to be done, recent federal reforms will streamline permitting and accelerate construction timelines saving taxpayer dollars.  As these and other reforms are implemented by the Federal Highway Administration, we are hopeful that they will be utilized by both states.

 

We strongly support the ongoing collaborative approach on both sides of the river to identify the best options for rebuilding the Brent Spence Bridge.  These efforts are ensuring continued progress on this important initiative that will have positive economic effects for our states and the region.  We look forward to partnering with you on this important project.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Sherrod Brown                                                        

United States Senator                                                                      

 

 

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