The Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition announced its support for Ohio House Bill 533, legislation that will advance the planned the $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge project.
Kentucky's legislature did not pass legislation that would enable tolling as an option to finance the massive project, neither did it present an alternative plan to fund it; However, nearly $30 million was allotted to keep the project moving.
Ohio House Bill 533 would allow for electronic collection of tolls by using drivers' license plates.
"Ohio can't sit around. We've got to be a leader here," said Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, one of four Southwest Ohioans sponsoring the bill, to the Cincinnati Enquirer
. "We know what we need to do, so let's just go ahead and do it, and hopefully our colleagues to the South will find their way to do what they need to do."
“We applaud and support this legislation, which will keep this vitally important project moving forward,” said Build Our New Bridge Coalition co-chairman Tom Williams, President and CEO of North American Properties. “Innovative approaches are needed to make the replacement of The Brent Spence Bridge a reality. This legislation utilizes the latest technology and modernizes Ohio statues so the state is better equipped to operate a 21st century transportation system.
“Gov. John Kasich has shown strong leadership on the Brent Spence Bridge project,” Williams continued. “We are pleased with the bipartisan support HB 533 has received so far, and now call on the General Assembly to take another important step by passing the legislation, which will greatly enhance the flow of traffic and improve safety on the new bridge.”
The Coalition called the Brent Spence Bridge unsafe and overcrowded, noting that it carries more than double the amount of cars it was designed to handle each day, nearly 175,000.
The Coalition also claimed that each month the bridge project is not moving forward, the overall price tag goes up $8 million.