AAA Survey Shows Support for New Bridge, Division on Funding

AAA Cincinnati released the results of a recent poll about the Brent Spence Bridge project showing majority support for a new bridge but divided results on how to fund it.

"A recent survey of AAA members in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky shows overwhelming support for a new Brent Spence Bridge," a news release stated. "AAA members understand what a new bridge means to the economy. Their support also appears to be driven by safety concerns while they or members of their family are using the bridge. However, AAA members are divided on whether tolls should be used to fund the bridge's replacement."

Asked if the Brent Spence Bridge is dangerous to drive on, more than 50% of Ohio AAA members, 64% in Kentucky, and 62% total responded "very" or "somewhat". A total of 90% of AAA members on both sides of the river are in "somewhat" or "very" in favor of building a new bridge.

Three options were presented to help fund the bridge project: tolls, increased gas tax, and increased sales tax. Asked, "Do you support the idea of tolls?", 50% in Ohio responded "yes, somewhat" or "yes, very" while in Kentucky 41% approved of tolls "somewhat" or "very". A total of 51% in both Kentucky and Ohio were somewhat or very much opposed to tolls.

"As an organization, AAA generally prefers that all roads be toll-free," the news release said. "We also recognize that the realities of today's infrastructure funding requirements will likely mean some percentage of local funding. If tolls are implemented in order to help achieve this vital community project, we believe that important safeguards should be in place to protect the interests of all users of the bridge."

Local sales tax and gas tax increases were less popular. 71% total are "somewhat" or "very" opposed to an increase in the local sales tax while nearly 73% total are "somewhat" or "very" opposed to an increase in the gas tax.

A majority of respondents believe that a new bridge will benefit the region economically with nearly 68% responding yes, "somewhat" or "very".

Photo: Rendering of Brent Spence Bridge project