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New York Times Takes Another Look at Brent Spence Bridge's Future

The future of the Brent Spence Bridge was the focus of another long article by The New York Times on Sunday in which the nation's largest newspaper explored the possible impact of President Joe Biden's multi-trillion dollar infrastructure proposal would be of benefit to the aging, functionally obsolete span that connects Covington to Cincinnati via Interstates 71 and 75.

It also looks at the role Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-Ky.) could play in that proposal and the bridge's fate.

The Brent Spence was shuttered for six weeks late last year after a fiery crash involving two semi trucks.

It currently has multiple lane restrictions in both directions as part of a long maintenance and painting project expected to last through November.

According to The Times:

Mr. McConnell declined to elaborate on his position when approached in the Capitol this week, repeating the same line twice to a reporter asking whether concern about the bridge might prod him to embrace Mr. Biden’s plan: “It’s an important project, and long overdue for a solution.”

Trey Grayson, the Northern Kentucky native, former secretary of state, and former president of the NKY Chamber of Commerce also described the situation in which McConnell finds himself related to the bridge:

Mr. McConnell is “like a wishbone, pulled on both sides,” said Trey Grayson, a Kentucky Republican who has served as secretary of state and worked on the bridge project as the leader of Northern Kentucky’s chamber of commerce.

“He would love to invest in Kentucky, not just because of his legacy but because he believes in it,” Mr. Grayson continued. “On the other side, he’s the Republican leader of a caucus that doesn’t want to cooperate with Biden, doesn’t want to spend money, doesn’t want to raise corporate taxes and is more willing to vote ‘no’ than figure out how to make this thing work.”

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer was also quoted in the piece:

The challenges are also local. As the current proposal to double the lanes has languished, politicians in Ohio and Kentucky have squabbled over whether to use tolls to help pay for it, as well as how drastically to reconfigure the tangle of interstates meeting at the riverfront.

“Obviously, there’s congestion on the bridge and obviously, we would like to see the congestion reduced,” said Joseph U. Meyer, the mayor of Covington. “But have they come up with a plan that deals effectively with that congestion without causing collateral damage?”

Read the full article here.