Broad Coalition Asks Kentucky Legislature to Meet Funding Needs for Brent Spence Bridge
Washington, D.C. – On February 28, 2012 Congressman Geoff Davis and eighty-four organizations, businesses and government officials sent a letter urging the Kentucky General Assembly to allocate needed funding for the Brent Spence Bridge Project.
The General Assembly is responsible for allocating both State and federal transportation dollars. It is estimated that Kentucky will have a total of $4 billion to spend on transportation projects for this biennial budget, including $2.4 billion in federal funds.
The letter, addressed to Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, asks the General Assembly to meet a $24.22 million funding gap in Governor Steve Beshear’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding request. This shortfall could stall completion of the project’s detailed design phase. The project requires $68 million by the start of State FY 2013, but the Governor’s request only provides for $43.78 million.
“Replacing the Brent Spence Bridge is crucial to Kentucky’s economy,” said Davis. “The current bridge is out-of-date and over-capacity, and the Commonwealth needs a more reliable artery to ensure the secure flow of travelers and commerce. While I appreciate Governor Beshear’s initial recommendations for the Brent Spence Bridge, I urge the Kentucky General Assembly to meet this critical funding need.” The letter can be read in its entirety below or by clicking here. Additionally, you can read more about Congressman Davis’ work on the Brent Spence Bridge Project by clicking here.
February 28, 2012
|Senator David Williams, Senate President
Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort, KY 40601
|Representative Greg Stumbo, House Speaker
Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Speaker:
As the General Assembly develops the next Highway Plan, we urge you to ensure that it includes sufficient funds for the Brent Spence Bridge Project so that it can continue to make progress.
The project engineers estimate that $68 million is required by the start of FY2013 to adequately fund the next phase of the project without delay.
The engineers inform us that $22.26 million remains available from the $46.5 million secured for the project by Senator Jim Bunning, Senator George Voinovich and Congressman Geoff Davis in 2005.
Governor Steve Beshear’s budget recommendations include that $22.26 million plus an additional $6.52 million in FY2012 (for a total of $28.78 million); $15 million in FY2013; and $15 million in FY2014.
In order to bid out the detailed design phase on schedule, a total of $68 million must be allocated by the General Assembly. For this reason, we are requesting that the General Assembly: 1) sustain the Governor’s recommended funding levels for FY2012; and 2) for FY2013, increase the recommended $15 million to $39.22 million. In addition, the Governor’s recommended $15 million in FY2014 should also be sustained.
The Brent Spence Bridge project will ultimately cost between $2 and $3 billion to complete. To date, the funds dedicated to the project in the last federal highway bill have sustained progress. However, they are no longer sufficient on their own to carry the project forward to the completion of the next phase.
The Brent Spence Bridge is essential infrastructure to the Commonwealth’s economy, and the aging bridge cannot meet increasing demand. The bridge is a critical transportation artery for Kentucky as well as the nation. Over $400 billion of freight crosses the Brent Spence Bridge annually. That figure is expected to increase in real dollars to $830 billion by 2030.
The new capacity resulting from the project will provide sustained growth for the future while reducing congestion and pollutants experienced by many Kentuckians and Ohioans. The project will reduce commercial and other travel time and their associated costs by millions of dollars per year.
The Brent Spence Bridge is also overcrowded, unsafe and, according to the Federal Highway Administration, “functionally obsolete.” Completed in 1963, the bridge was built to accommodate 80,000 vehicles daily. Traffic has now more than doubled and this overburden has created significant safety hazards. To accommodate more traffic, the breakdown lanes were removed in 1986, and in June 2011 a man tragically lost his life after his vehicle broke down on the bridge.
For the biennial budget, Kentucky is estimated to have a total of $4 billion to spend on transportation projects, including about $2.4 billion in federal funds. As you know, the General Assembly is tasked with determining how to allocate this money.
As business leaders; federal, State, and local officials; and members of the community dedicated to the betterment, development and safety of all Kentuckians and Ohioans, we ask you to provide $28.78 million in FY2012, $39.22 million in FY2013, and $15 million in FY2014 for the Brent Spence Bridge in the Highway Plan you will enact this session.
Thank you for your service and attention to this matter. We pledge our efforts to work with you to accommodate this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance.
Geoff Davis, U.S. Representative, Fourth District of Kentucky
Joseph M. Fischer, State Representative, Kentucky House District 68
Dennis Keene, State Representative, Kentucky House District 67
Sal Santoro, State Representative, Kentucky House District 60
Alecia Webb-Edgington, State Representative, Kentucky House District 63
Addia Katherine Wuchner, State Representative, Kentucky House District 66
Steve Arlinghaus, County Judge/Executive, Kenton County
Henry Bertram, County Judge/Executive, Pendleton County
Earl Bush, County Judge/Executive, Bracken County
Kenneth McFarland, County Judge/Executive, Gallatin County
Gary Moore, County Judge/Executive, Boone County
Steve Pendery, County Judge/Executive, Campbell County
Mark Policinski, Executive Director, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
Daniel E. Tobergte, President and Chief Executive Officer, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED
Daniel Bell, Mayor, City of Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Mary H. Brown, Mayor, City of Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Don Catchen, Mayor, City of Park Hills, Kentucky
Jim Hamberg, Mayor, City of Southgate, Kentucky
Dave Jansing, Mayor, City of Lakeside Park, Kentucky
Paula Jolley, Mayor, City of Walton, Kentucky
Don Kirby, Mayor, City of Union, Kentucky
Marty Lenhof, Mayor, City of Elsmere, Kentucky
John Link, Mayor, City of Edgewood, Kentucky
Mike Martin, Mayor, City of Villa Hills, Kentucky
Paul Meier, Mayor, City of Crestview Hills, Kentucky
Chris Moriconi, Mayor, City of Independence, Kentucky
Joe Nienaber, Mayor, City of Fort Wright, Kentucky
Jerry Peluso, Mayor, City of Newport, Kentucky
Bill Rachford, Mayor, City of Alexandria, Kentucky
David Radford, Mayor, City of Bromley, Kentucky
Edward Riehl, Mayor, City of Bellevue, Kentucky
Tom Rouse, Mayor, City of Erlanger, Kentucky
Charles R. Scheper, Mayor, City of Covington, Kentucky
Mark Stoeber, Mayor, City of Cold Spring, Kentucky
Stanley Turner, Mayor, City of Wilder, Kentucky
Diane Whalen, Mayor, City of Florence, Kentucky
Chris Wiest, Mayor, City of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Kenneth Wynn, Mayor, City of Ludlow, Kentucky
Dr. James Votruba, President, Northern Kentucky University
Dr. Ed Hughes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Community and Technical
Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, President, Thomas More College
Candace S. McGraw, Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International
Andrew Aiello, General Manager, Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky
Steven D. Hensley, Director, Kenton County Office of Emergency Management
William Turner, Director, Campbell County Office of Emergency Management
Steve Stevens, President & Chief Executive Officer, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Ellen G. van der Horst, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati Chamber of
Robert L. Quick, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commerce Lexington, Inc.
Dan Freese, Chairman, Associated Builders and Contractors, Ohio Valley Chapter
Gary Lindgren, Executive Director, Cincinnati Business Committee
Jack Moreland, President, Southbank Partners
Kentucky Association of REALTORS
Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, Inc
Bank of Kentucky, Inc.
Dr. Ray Takigiku, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bexion Pharmaceuticals
Brent Cooper, President, C-Forward Information Technologies
Kevin Sell, Chairman, CARE Mission, Alexandria
Jeff Waldal, Corporate Vice President, Ceradyne, Inc.
Julie Janson, President, Duke Energy Kentucky and Ohio
Larry Ezell, Vice President and General Manager, DRS Technologies
Dave Hehman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati
Kevin Canafax, Vice President Public Affairs, Fidelity Investments (Midwest Region)
Fruit of the Loom
GE Aviation in Erlanger
Gregory Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, General Cable
Chris Goddard, Chief Executive Officer, Health Point Family Care
Janeric Enterprises LLC
Charles Ducas, Senior Vice President, Kentucky Trailer
Larae Development Company
Daniel Janka, President, MAG
Brian Papke, President, Mazak Corporation
Chris McDaniel, President, McD Concrete
Eric Haas, President, National Band and Tag Company
Newport Investment Company
Mike Downing, President, RSVP Homecare
John S. Dubis, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Jason Looman, President, Steinert US
Jan Haas, Directress, Trent Montessori
Shigeki Terashi, President, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America,
Mark Mosley, Chief Executive Officer, United Group Services
Mark Giuffre, Director, State Government Affairs, UPS
Ken Warden, Broker/Owner, WARDEN & ASSOCIATES, REALTORS
cc: Governor Steve Beshear
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock
Senator R.J. Palmer, Minority Floor Leader
Senator Ernie Harris, Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Senator Brandon Smith, Vice Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Senator Bob Leeper, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations and Revenue
Representative Jeff Hoover, Minority Floor Leader
Representative Hubert Collins, Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Representative Leslie Combs, Vice Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Representative Marie Rader, Vice Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Representative Tommy Turner, Vice Chairman, Committee on Transportation
Representative Rick Rand, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations and Revenue