Taxpayers will pick up the tab for an $8 million study of the impact of a reconstructed Brent Spence bridge on traffic, noise and the effect tolls will have on minorities and low-income persons.
The Ohio Controlling Board released the money Monday at the request of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham said the state of Ohio is in the process of working out a “memorandum of understanding” with the state of Kentucky. Once that is finished, Cunningham said, Kentucky will reimburse Ohio for half of the $8 million.
At the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Friday, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell spelled out his solution for paying for a new Brent Spence Bridge. The Republican says he will propose repealing the Davis-Bacon Act that requires the government to pay the local prevailing wage for federal projects.
By getting rid of this requirement, McConnell says, it will provide $13 billion to the Brent Spence and other bridges in need of repair over a ten year period.
With the aging Brent Spence in the background, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 533 into law Wednesday, as reporters and other politicians looked on.
The bill, which allows Ohio to collect tolls on the bridge, doesn't mean anything until Kentucky drafts and signs similar legislation. In March, the Kentucky House voted 82-7 to prohibit tolls on any federal interstate between Ohio and Kentucky.
Governor Steve Beshear, speaking at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, told business leaders not to panic or be up in arms when a bridge financing report comes out later this month.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, called on the business community to step up and work with the legislature to make the new Brent Spence bridge project happen. "You know, we've got a lot of things that need to be flexible that we need to pull together and work together on."