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Massie Talks CVG Airport, Brent Spence Bridge in Covington

Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie spoke Wednesday in Covington at a luncheon hosted by Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

OKI brings local governments from the three states together to collaborate and cooperate on transportation and economic projects.

"I hear so much about cooperation and collaboration and it reminds me nothing of Congress," Massie said. 

Massie noted the need for Congressional support at CVG Airport and said that his support for deregulation would open doors for the airport to bring in more revenue. Specifically, Massie said that deregulating the federal cap on baggage handling fees would be one example.

According to Massie, airports can currently only charge $4.50 per bag to use baggage handling facilities. Massie's plan to eliminate this cap is designed to allow airports like CVG to get more funding and increase operations. 

Massie also recognized the need to address congestion on the Brent Spence Bridge and its corridor along I-75, but noted that Congress no longer allows earmarked funding for such projects.

The Republican from Lewis County, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 2012, said that ending the U.S. military's involvement in Afghanistan would free up about $50 billion, though he added that the Congress would find other ways to spend it, other than on infrastructure projects like the Brent Spence.

The 50-year old span carries more than double the amount of traffic capacity for which it was constructed to handle.

Massie said the U.S. should increase its Highway Trust Fund, which he said could be accomplished by expanding road taxes to include electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and option tolling practices.

"Florida has been incredibly successful with these optional tolling lanes," Massie said. "Pejoratively called 'Lexus Lanes', this allows the factory worker to go home with more money in his pocket while other more expensive service workers can opt to pay more for a fast lane," Massie said.

Written by Connor Wall, associate editor