tolls

There are some Northern Kentucky leaders – those who oppose tolls to pay for a replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge - who are saying that Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, is no longer welcome in their part of the state.

And they don’t seem to care which bridge he crosses to get there.

It seems that Ohio’s Republican governor, who is not the shy and retiring type when it comes to speaking his mind, left some noses out of joint Wednesday when he hooked up with Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, at Covington’s RiverCenter.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

When Governors John Kasich and  Steve Beshear hold a news conference in Covington Wednesday afternoon they are expected to elaborate on their plan to share the cost equally between Ohio and Kentucky. 

Many people are also wondering about a toll, something Northern Kentucky business leaders are against, but the governors say is necessary.

A study released in October 2013 projected $1 to $2 for cars; $3 to $6 for light trucks; and $5 to $10 for tractor-trailers.

Michael Keating

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.

Michael Keating

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.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

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."

Michael Keating

A new study, commissioned by Ohio and Kentucky, has narrowed procurement models for the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge project from four to two and projected a range of tolls.

Michael Keating

Ohio and Kentucky officials are working to complete a value for money study on the Brent Spence project.  

It will report the most cost effective way to build the bridge and new approaches to it.  That study should be done next month.  

WVXU

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.