Grant program money totaling $250 million is part of the $1.6 billion awarded to the Brent Spence Bridge Project, the Biden administration highlighted in a release sent to media outlets today.
The money, which was previously announced in early January, is from the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) discretionary grant program and is being given to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in partnership with the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, which is collaborating on the creation of a companion bridge and road work on the Cincinnati and Covington sides of the Ohio River.
Brent Spence Bridge corridor improvements were granted funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law President Joe Biden signed in 2021.
“These projects will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents and make our transportation systems safer for all users,” said a release from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
“From the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge, some infrastructure projects are so large and complex that they defy traditional funding systems — and so significant that they become iconic parts of the American landscape,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “After receiving over 100 applications, we are proud to fund these nine infrastructure megaprojects across the country to create jobs, strengthen our supply chains, expand our economy, and renew America’s built landscape.”
The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is one of nine nationally significant projects selected for this first year of the Mega Grant program, the administration said in its release.
Covered in the funding will be:
- Construction of a new bridge alongside the existing Brent Spence Bridge
- Rehabilitation and reconfiguration of the existing Brent Spence Bridge
- Improvements to an approximately 8-mile interstate corridor serving the bridges
The bridge has been identified as one that creates some of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the entire country. It carries Interstates 71 and 75 between Cincinnati and northern Kentucky and was declared functionally obsolete by the Federal Highway Administration in the 1990s.
Three percent of the nation’s GDP is affected by freight travel on the Brent Spence Bridge, which opened in 1963 and was designed to carry 80,000 vehicles per day but currently carries at least double that.
“With funding secured, groundbreaking on the project is anticipated in late 2023 with larger construction activities in 2024. Substantial completion on the project is slated for 2029,” states Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
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