Kasich, Beshear, LaHood say tolls will be part of a new Brent Spence Bridge
Funding for a new Brent Spence Bridge will include tolls, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and governors from Ohio and Kentucky who gathered Wednesday in Covington. But that doesn't mean everyone is on board with the idea.
As Ohio Governor John Kasich stood beside his Kentucky counterpart announcing the states would be working together to build a new bridge, he didn't shy away from letting a roomful of officials and reporters know that a toll would be part of it.
"I mean that's something maybe that people don't want to hear. But I think it's best to tell people the way things are. In Ohio, we don't want to toll for purposes of creating any sort of a slush fund. We're tolling for purposes of just building the bridge."
It's unclear how long any toll would last, but Kentucky officials said the ones paying for new Indiana bridges would continue for more than 30 years. Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank is worried Newport will have an unfair advantage if there is a toll on the new bridge.
"If it's five bucks to come to Covington for a night out or to buy some of our establishment's fine products, and it's free to go to Newport, I'm worried about that."
Frank is also concerned about traffic tie-ups if people try to avoid the toll bridge. Transportation officials are working on the financing plan. Construction is expected to start in 2014.