COVINGTON – When it comes to safety along the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, Northern Kentucky deserves better than the hypotheticals and flimsy polling being pushed by Brent Spence opponents.
“We are years into the planning process, millions of dollars have already been spent, and millions more is in the pipeline for planning and constructing a new Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, a project that will improve safety and traffic flow through our community,” said Matt Davis, Director of the Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition, a broad-based partnership of businesses, labor organizations, government leaders, community groups, and individuals advocating for the bridge’s replacement.
“For bridge opponents to suggest new, hypothetical, and unrealistic transportation ideas as what they are now terming ‘conversation starters’ does nothing to improve safety on the I-75 corridor or alleviate congestion on the Brent Spence Bridge, but simply delays the process,” Davis said. “One so-called idea is building a new bridge from Fort Thomas to Newtown, which is a complete non-starter and Brent Spence opponents know that.”
Last week, Brent Spence opponents said that a new Ohio River Bridge between Newtown, Ohio – a town not on the Ohio River– and Fort Thomas, Kentucky would be a better solution than the addressing the Brent Spence Bridge corridor. No studies have been conducted for this Newtown-Fort Thomas idea; no routes or funding sources have been identified; and no residents, leaders or business owners in those communities have been consulted.
“Responsible people who care about the safety and advancement of our region are not floating unrealistic hypotheticals under the guise of conversation starters, but rather, working productively within the realm of possibilities,” Davis said. “We need the conversation to come back to how we are going to resolve the safety problems that exist on the Brent Spence Bridge. Everyone knows that driving on the Brent Spence Bridge is dangerous.”
Opponents of the Brent Spence also issued the results an automated completely unscientific robo-call poll regarding public opinion on tolling, claiming the poll had an unbelievable and unheard of margin of error of 1 percent. Opponents refused to release even the basic information that legitimate and professional pollsters share with the public, including methodology, crosstabs and a memo describing how the poll was conducted and its findings.
“The real question is how we are going to improve safety on the Brent Spence Bridge?” he said. “Brent Spence opponents are willing to say anything to delay the construction of a bridge that will improve safety and create thousands of jobs. It’s shortsighted and dangerous.”
The Coalition urges elected officials – particularly those in Frankfort – and community and business leaders to maintain their focus on the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project by passing a public-private-partnership “P3” bill in the current session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
The P3 bill would allow Kentucky to partner with the private sector to help pay for the construction of major transportation projects. Enacting the legislation will drive down the cost and accelerate the construction of the Brent Spence Bridge project.
The 50-year-old Brent Spence Bridge is an unsafe, overcrowded span that carries more than 172,000 vehicles a day, more than double the capacity it was built to accommodate. Each day, 30,000 trucks carry more than $1 billion in freight across the bridge. Daily backups on the bridge contribute to gridlock, lost productivity, and dangerous, time-consuming commutes.
Every day we wait for a fictitious federal handout is another day that 215,000 people travel across an outdated, overcrowded, and unsafe bridge.