Ky. Transportation Secretary to Meet Country’s Infrastructure Czar

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Kentucky’s transportation secretary will travel to Washington, DC, on Wednesday to meet with the country’s self-styled infrastructure czar, Mitch Landrieu. Secretary Jim Gray says it comes down to three words: “Brent Spence Bridge.”

At a Northern Kentucky Chamber event on Tuesday, Gray said plans to build a companion bridge and subsequent corridor are on track. “The sun, the moon and the stars – everything aligns for this project.”

Here’s what Ohio and Kentucky have already done to prepare:

  • Handed over request for $1.66 billion in federal infrastructure funds (ahead of many other states, according to Gray)
  • Ohio purchased all of the right-of-way land for the accompanying bridge and corridor project
  • Kentucky is currently evaluating the right-of-way land (expecting to make offers to owners as early as January 2023)
  • Signature of a memorandum of understanding between the two States

“We are in the process of examining our candidacy; Landrieu is not in this decision-making process, in particular, he is simply aware of the project”, explains Gray. “And right now, we’re just focused on raising awareness of the project to anyone we can.
Kentucky and Ohio hope to find out how much they will get of the requested $1.66 billion in federal funding by late summer or early fall. The whole project is expected to cost around $3 billion.

What else must happen

  • Ohio and Kentucky Departments of Transportation to Sign Memorandum of Understanding
  • Hear the federal government’s comments on funding
  • Begin the process of finding a contractor by January
  • Inauguration in the fall of 2023

“We’re showing that we’ve been successful (Ohio and Kentucky),” Gray says. “This team works transparently.”

What will the traffic flow look like when the project is complete

Kentucky District 6 Chief Engineer Bob Yeager says you might wonder how we can add so many lanes to a companion bridge and tie it all together. “There’s an extra lane added each time you pass a northbound exit,” he says. (It’s Dixie, Kyles and 12e Street.)

“The other exciting thing is that we will be able to convert the bridge back to its original configuration,” he says. “The existing bridge will become a local bridge and we will take thousands and thousands of vehicles out of it.”

He adds, “You’ll make your decision around Kyles Lane if you want to go on I-71 or I-75, but you never have to merge.” He says the good news is that everyone who is next to you goes where you are.

He joked to members of the Northern Kentucky House that, contrary to popular belief, he did not turn on the Brent Spence two years ago to hasten a new bridge.

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