Home » Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project awarded more than $1.6 billion in Federal Grants

Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project awarded more than $1.6 billion in Federal Grants

COVINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project was awarded federal funding grants worth more than $1.6 billion, giving the landmark bridge and corridor project the green light to move toward construction.

The Brent Spence Bridge

“I’m thrilled the time has finally come for us to get the companion bridge built,” Gov. Beshear said. “Funding and constructing the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is more than the fulfillment of my administration’s promise – it’s a dream fulfilled for the thousands of travelers who pass through the bustling region every day, waiting eagerly for traffic relief to come on this nationally significant corridor. It also shows what’s possible when we prioritize people over politics. Once complete, drivers will have a more enjoyable and efficient drive and we’ll have the infrastructure to support the booming economy in this part of the state. Hats off to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Ohio Department of Transportation, and the countless partners and advocates who played a role in today’s monumental achievement, including the Kentucky General Assembly for the last budget allocation and Sen. McConnell for supporting the federal legislation. We appreciate President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg for this historic investment.”

Sen. McConnell helped secure the funding for today’s grant announcement by supporting last year’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and shepherding the bill through the Senate. The legislation authorized a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure and provided robust resources to states to fund major bridge projects specifically. Over five years, the IIJA will deliver billions of dollars to Kentucky to improve the commonwealth’s roads, bridges, airports, railroads, waterways, broadband and more. Sen. McConnell contacted U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to advocate directly for Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project funding.

With funding secured, groundbreaking on the project is anticipated for late 2023, with substantial completion slated for 2029.

The Brent Spence Bridge was constructed in the 1960s to carry around 80,000 vehicles a day, but the daily traffic load on Interstate Highways 75 and 71 has reached 160,000 vehicles in recent years. Because I-75 is a key freight corridor stretching from Canada to Florida, the congestion impacts to commerce and commuters who travel the corridor in the eastern United States.

Project plans call for the construction of a companion bridge to the west of the existing Brent Spence Bridge, as well as improvements to the current bridge and the roadway network that ties into each river crossing. As a result of robust engagement with local partners, there will be enhanced pedestrian access across I-75 in Cincinnati to reconnect downtown with western neighborhoods and the City of Cincinnati will regain nearly 10 acres to develop in the downtown area. In Kentucky, the project will include a new storm sewer system to reduce flooding and improve local roads, including enhanced pedestrian and bicycle facilities, in the existing and new bridge area.

The project team – consisting of representatives from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) – applied jointly for funding and outlined terms to move the project to construction.

The once-in-a-lifetime competitive funding was made available through the passage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that invested billions of dollars in revitalizing infrastructure and spurring the economy.

“Nothing great is achieved alone, and I’m proud of all the people who’ve come to the table over the years to ensure that we’ll deliver a project with huge benefits and minimal impacts to the communities that live in and around the project area,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said.

“This project doesn’t just move vehicles; it moves people. We’re able to reconnect neighborhoods to downtown Cincinnati, improve safety and reduce congestion on this route, all while only adding a single lane to the interstate with this project,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

With funding secured, groundbreaking on the project is anticipated in late 2023, with larger construction activities in 2024. Substantial completion of the project is slated for 2029. The immediate next step will be the selection process to determine the Progressive Design Build contractor team to complete the project. That effort will begin in January when the Request for Proposals (RFP) is released to the contractor community.

The Federal Highway Administration recently required the project team to complete an analysis to identify project cost estimates better. Through this process, the project team determined the project is likely to cost about $3.6 billion. The increase from previous estimates was not unexpected due to the recent impact of inflation on construction prices. As a result, the project team is updating the project’s financial plan to account for the change.

About the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor ProjectBrent Spence Bridge Fact Sheet

Fueled by bipartisan cooperation and community engagement, the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project will invest in local communities and help grow America’s economy. Spanning 8 miles between the Western Hills Viaduct in Ohio and Dixie Highway in Kentucky, the project will address the second-worst truck bottleneck in the nation by improving safety and travel on the interstate connection that carries more than $700 billion worth of freight every year.

In addition, the project will improve access to the central business districts of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky. It will also support local businesses and underserved communities in historic neighborhoods on both sides of the river. Ohio and Kentucky are working together to deliver this transformative project that will improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans who use the federal highway system to travel between the two states and beyond.

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