By Jennifer Kirchner, Executive Director of Kentuckians for Better Transportation
The need to move goods safely and expeditiously across a reliable transportation network has never been greater. The nation’s first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Louisville on Dec. 13 in what is being hailed a “historic moment” for the United States and Kentucky. UPS Worldport will handle vaccine distribution to the eastern U.S., and this shipment set off the biggest vaccination effort in American history.
From the deliveries of protective medical supplies, this spring to the life-saving vaccines delivered earlier this month, Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure has been a vital part of helping our state and nation survive the COVID nightmare. In Northern Kentucky, the fiery crash that shut down the 56-year-old Brent Spence Bridge reminds us all that our transportation infrastructure is critical to our state’s livelihood.
Down the road, at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, more than 1.2 million tons of cargo move through the DHL Hub each year. In 2019, more than 80,000 packages per day traveled through the hub. In 2020, the number rose to Jennifer Kirchner is the Executive Director of Kentuckians for Better Transportation650,000 to 800,000 packages per day.
With all eyes on Kentucky as a major player in the logistics and shipping industries, it is more important than ever that leaders take bold action and invest significantly in our transportation infrastructure network. Investing today not only allows Kentucky to maintain its multi-modal network that creates jobs and enhances the quality of life, but it also prepares our commonwealth for a brighter future.
A safe and reliable transportation network allows Kentucky to continue with the mass delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine and helps people put presents into the hands of loved ones we cannot visit in person this holiday season– bringing hope to an otherwise tumultuous year.
That is why increased infrastructure funding should be top of mind during the 2021 Legislative Session beginning January 5. Increased transportation funding will help improve Kentucky’s air cargo networks, interstates, and transportation networks that are needed to fulfill these increased shipping and logistics needs.