Thursday, January 16, 2003

Federal proposal for bridge crafted

Brent Spence likely to need $500M

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] The Brent Spence Bridge has only 15 years left if nothing is done, engineers estimate.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
To have any hope of securing $500 million in federal money to replace or renovate the Brent Spence Bridge this year, the Tristate must stand united across geographic and partisan lines to make the issue a top priority in Congress, area leaders said after a strategy session Wednesday.

"We've had this opportunity in the past but squandered it because we all couldn't agree," Kenton County Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd said, referring to the bridge that opened a year ago in Maysville, Ky., a structure originally slated to be built here. "This meeting was a good first step in creating a consensus that will create one voice to Congress so that doesn't happen here."

Several business and legislative leaders have made the 39-year-old Brent Spence a priority, especially since the federal transportation funding bill that is renewed every five years or so is up for renewal this fall. The bridge is seen as crucial to the entire region's infrastructure: It connects Interstates 71 and 75, and is the main connection between downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

According to recent studies, the bridge has about 12-15 years of life left is nothing is done, especially since it handles more than 140,000 vehicles a day, with more on the way.

Preliminary cost estimates for replacing or repairing the structure are about $500 million. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is about to begin a $2 million study on the options.

Also discussed was whether to ask Congress for the full amount; Ohio and Kentucky face severe budget problems.


Coalition asks for booze-free MLK Day
N. Ky. Rep. Lucas: 1 bill in last session
Fatal accident shakes up restaurant patrons, owner

Federal proposal for bridge crafted
GHA drops mental health services
UC presidential search panel told to open meetings
Records: Approvals granted to Yemenis
Hey, Blue Ash
When animals call, kids get fascinated
Light rail, road expansion called best I-75 relief
Donation puts defibrillator in use
Obituary: Reds writer Earl Lawson, 79
Tristate A.M. Report

PULFER: Broccoli 101
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: Northside crusader

W. Chester looks to the old
W. Chester rec center sites down to 2
Lebanon city offices close first time for MLK Day
Man gets 10 years for robbery
Blind spot cited in fatal crash
Report clears West Chester administrator

Taft wants stricter rules for sex offenders
Learn to be a self-starter
A taste of warmer days
Lawyer: No reason to doubt illness
Youths honor fire victim
NRC frets about working conditions
Killer's run out of appeals, lawyer says
Ohio Moments

Patton will propose increase in taxes
Six inmates to be freed from Boone, Kenton jails
NKU tuition may increase 20%
Kentucky News Briefs