Portman Applauds Announcement by Ohio and Kentucky to Seek Federal Funding for Brent Spence Bridge Project

Portman Was Lead Negotiator on Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act That Paved Way for Today’s Announcement

February 28, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded today’s announcement by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear that they will jointly pursue up to $2 billion in federal funding to improve the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor, which connects Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky. Senator Portman served as the lead Republican negotiator on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law last November.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Cincinnati, as well as the larger region, and it brings us one step closer to a new companion bridge, which will ease traffic along the Corridor,” said Senator Portman. “Ohio’s transportation needs were a top priority of mine during negotiations of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which has helped pave the way for today’s milestone. I will continue to work with state and federal partners on both sides of the river to ensure this project comes to fruition.”

The governors signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which they agreed to mutually seek two grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the long-discussed Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project. Each state will apply for half of the federal funds needed for project, which entails building a new companion bridge to the east of Brent Spence to ease daily bottlenecks in traffic.

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 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.

NOTE: As lead Republican negotiator, Senator Portman played a critical role in getting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed into law. IIJA includes $12.5 billion for a new competitive grant program to repair old and outdated bridges like Brent SpenceThis program is based on legislation Portman introduced with Senator Brown called the Bridge Investment Act. The IIJA also includes $5 billion for the brand new National Infrastructure Project Assistance program (AKA MEGA), which will support multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects of regional or national significance. The MOU signed today highlights these two brand new programs as the federal grants Ohio and Kentucky are targeting. In total, IIJA contains $33.5 billion in available funding that could be applicable to the Brent Spence Bridge project.