Better for our region
The Brent Spence Bridge was originally built to connect our regions and to create jobs and economic opportunity. Now, it’s hurting our ability to continue growing.
More than 75 percent of the one million jobs in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region are within five miles of I-75.
A new Interstate highway bridge across the Ohio River affects each one of us because this traffic route is a lifeline to our region’s and the nation’s economy and vitality. Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) estimates that building a new bridge will create tens of thousands of new jobs. This includes the construction jobs to build the bridge and the jobs that will result from increased and sustained economic development.
The $2.7-billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project is estimated to support 24,488 jobs throughout Kentucky and Ohio with most of the jobs (23,940 jobs) located in the Cincinnati MSA. These jobs generate an estimated $1.9 billion in labor income across the two states, again with most of the labor income occurring in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky market ($1.8 billion). In addition to the economic activity generated within the region from the construction activity, fiscal impacts to the state and local jurisdictions will occur totaling an estimated $193.1 million.
Reducing congestion is economically productive
Not only will construction of new bridge create new jobs, but it will reduce existing congestion and improve traffic flow across the bridge, which is crucial for keeping existing jobs and attracting new businesses and jobs to our region.
Businesses not only rely on the bridge for transporting their goods — more than $1 billion in freight crosses the bridge every day — but they also rely on the bridge to allow their employees to commute to and from their homes and jobs.
Twenty years after after building a new bridge and related infrastructure improvements, the economic benefit of a new bridge to commuters, shippers, and manufacturers has been estimated at $18.7 billion according to a study by the Texas Transportation Institute. That’s a 600-percent return on the $2.7-billion investment investment over that time period.
Congestion caused by the Brent Spence Bridge costs 3.6-million person-hours of delay each year for passenger cars and 240,000 vehicle-hours of annual delay for commercial vehicles, according to a study by the Texas Transportation Institute. The study noted that a new bridge would reduce the delay for passenger cars by 80 percent and the delay for commercial vehicles by 88 percent.
Maintaining our economic attractiveness
If our interstate traffic network fails, existing companies will leave the region and new companies will not locate here. Many companies increasingly rely on “just-in-time” delivery. A failed transportation system will discourage economic investment in our community, especially by those companies who rely upon the interstate system to deliver goods and services. Companies will not stay or locate in an area where they are not able to receive or deliver goods and services to customers in a timely fashion.
In addition, companies in our region will have trouble recruiting and keeping quality employees if congestion continues and employees’ commute time continues to increase.