In Cincinnati, Portman Announces New Bridge Investment Funding Opportunity Made Possible by His Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Receives Updates From Ohio and Kentucky Officials on Efforts to Secure Federal Funding for Brent Spence Bridge, Including Through New Bridge Funding Announced Today
CINCINNATI, OH — Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that applicants from Ohio and around the country are now able to apply for the new competitive Bridge Investment Program, made possible thanks to Portman’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The program is designed to provide funding for projects like the Brent Spence Bridge and other bridges across the country. Portman was in Cincinnati today and made the announcement at Paul Brown Stadium near the bridge. Senator Portman served as the lead Republican negotiator on IIJA, which was signed into law last November. The bipartisan infrastructure law includes more than $33 billion in competitive grant funding, including $12.5 billion from Portman’s Bridge Investment Act, to help plan, replace, rehabilitate, protect, and preserve some of the nation’s largest bridges –with nearly $2.4 billion available in Fiscal Year 2022.
The bipartisan infrastructure law also includes $5 billion for the brand new National Infrastructure Project Assistance program (AKA Mega) and $7.5 billion from the RAISE grant program, and $8 billion from the INFRA grant program.
“Today’s announcement of new funding to improve and replace our nation’s bridges is great news for Ohio and the country, all made possible through my bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Senator Portman. “Also, thank you to the officials from Ohio and Kentucky who provided me with a thorough update on how they will utilize the new funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law to improve the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor. I will continue to work with state and federal partners on both sides of the river to ensure this project comes to fruition.”
In a meeting with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks, Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Jim Gray, CEO of OKI Regional Council of Governments Mark Policinski, and CEO of REDI Cincinnati Kimm Lauterbach, he received updates on Ohio and Kentucky’s joint efforts to pursue federal funding to improve the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, which connects Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky.
The Brent Spence Bridge, which was built in 1963 to handle 80,000 vehicles a day, is now used by double that amount—160,000 vehicles a day. It plays a key role in national commerce, with three percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product crossing over it every year. Slowdowns caused by issues with the bridge negatively affect commerce flowing throughout the entire eastern United States, as I-75 runs through the corridor. The new companion bridge next to the existing bridge would add much-needed capacity by separating local and through traffic to ease the ongoing traffic backups. The project would also provide an opportunity to invest in local businesses and a growing workforce by improving safety and travel along this critical national corridor for commerce and freight.
Pictures of today’s meeting can be found here: