Kenton County says no to tolls

Feb 19, 2013

After hearing from residents opposed to using tolls to pay for the Brent Spence Bridge project,  the Kenton County Fiscal Court has passed a resolution expressing its opposition as well. Tuesday night's vote was unanimous. 

"Someone mentioned earlier, back in the '50's, we were able to build an interstate highway system.  Now we can't even build one bridge that is of national significance; and certainly that ought to be a highest priority for our federal government,"  said Commissioner Jon Draud.

A study started in November is looking at various ways to fund the $2.7- billion- dollar project.  The results are expected in April.

County Judge Executive Steve Arlinghaus is worried about the impact a toll would have.

"I think it's going to be a financial drain on the residents of Kenton County," he said.  "We're clearly going to be paying the bulk of this toll.  The biggest benefactors from this project being completed, though, are on the Ohio side of the river."

But Rob Hans with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says traditional federal and state funding from the motor fuels tax isn't available for a project this size.  He says without alternative methods, which tolls would be a part of, the work could be delayed for years.  With them he says the Brent Spence project could start as early as 2015 and be finished in four years.