COVINGTON, Ky. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today joined Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to study financing plans for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge. The MOU signing represents an important step in the plan for Ohio and Kentucky to jointly construct a new river crossing that will improve safety and traffic flow over the Ohio River by supplementing the existing Brent Spence Bridge between the two states.
“This important agreement will ensure that the Brent Spence Bridge project continues to move forward, bringing jobs, economic growth and congestion relief with it for the thousands who travel this route daily,” said Secretary LaHood.
The 49-year-old bridge, which President Obama visited last year, currently carries traffic from local roads and I-71 and I-75, two of the nation’s heaviest truck routes. The new river crossing will carry more than 60 percent of the Brent Spence Bridge’s current traffic, significantly reducing traffic congestion and increasing capacity at a chokepoint along one of North America’s busiest north-south freight corridors.
Once underway, the project will include construction of new approaches, reconfigured traffic signals and other roadway improvements on both sides of the Ohio River to accommodate the modified traffic flow.
“This project represents a critical investment for Ohio and Kentucky,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “Once underway, this project will create jobs and make driving in the area safer and easier for years to come.”
According to figures from the Ohio DOT, 160,000 drivers use the Brent Spence Bridge every day – a figure that is expected to increase to 235,000 drivers in the next two decades.