A group aiming to speed up the timeline and reduce the cost of replacing the Brent Spence Bridge is stepping up public awareness efforts.
The Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition is advocating a public-private partnership to replace the aging Brent Spence. The group believes with corporate involvement and federal funding and cooperation, the bridge can be replaced more quickly and for less.
Build our New Bridge Now Coalition Co-Director Libby Korosec says TV, radio, Internet and billboard ads will run through January encouraging people to get involved.
“We’re asking them to get involved. We’re asking them to go to our website and to register. Sign your name. Say you’re a supporter. Say you want it done now. We’ll have tools on the website where you can send a letter to the folks that matter, to the folks that control this process. Tell them that you agree with the Coalition’s efforts. We want a shovel in the ground by 2014,” she says.
The Coalition says the bridge must be replaced as soon as possible and every month it's delayed increases the cost and leads to lost business and revenue.
Brent Cooper owns an IT company in Covington. While he says no one likes to talk about tolls, all options must be considered to get the job done sooner rather than later.
“This bridge, if we do it and we use user fees or tolls – I don’t care (what you call them), it will save ten times the amount of money that we’re going to spend,” he says.
Cooper continues, “For every dollar that we spend, we’re going to save ten times that amount. And take into account the jobs that you’re going to add and the jobs you’re not going to lose.”
The Coalition has raised $2 million and says it's using a quarter to half of that for the awareness campaign.
The Brent Spence Bridge is rated functionally obsolete. About three percent of the nation's gross domestic product crosses the span daily. The current estimated price tag is $2.7 billion.