Study: Second bridge needed to ease traffic congestion
Dec. 19, 2017
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A new study says a second bridge is needed to help ease traffic congestion over the Ohio River between northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.
The Kentucky Transportation Department released results of the yearlong study on Tuesday, saying a second bridge, in addition to the Brent Spence Bridge, would improve safety and travel in the region.
The Brent Spence was made to handle 80,000 vehicles in 1963, and the addition of a fourth lane in 1985 brought that capacity to 120,000. But data indicates the span had daily traffic of over 185,000 vehicles in 2015.
The proposal from the Brent Spence Strategic Corridor Study recommends using the Brent Spence Bridge to carry northbound Interstate 71 traffic and northbound local traffic and using a new double-deck six-lane bridge to carry northbound I-75 traffic as well as southbound I-71, I-75 and local traffic.
"This study confirms what many already suspected — a new bridge is needed, as well as improvements to I-71/75 to address the explosive economic growth along this important transportation corridor," said Governor Matt Bevin.
Along with a new bridge, the study recommended Kentucky transportation officials make improvements to the I-275 corridor and study the possibility of building an eastern bypass.
The study estimated that a new bridge opening in 2024 would cost $2.6 billion, but it did not go into detail about how to pay for the project.
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that a group of business and civic leaders in the region recently came to the same conclusion as the study.
"For well over 15 years, the NKY Chamber has advocated for the need for this regionally significant economic development project in order for our economy to prosper," the statement said. "We look forward to working with our federal and state leaders to find viable funding to bring these projects to reality."