NKY Forum to examine Brent Spence funding options

For immediate release…
Thursday – Oct. 24, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The second of two Northern Kentucky Forum events examining the Brent Spence Bridge project will be held on Nov. 4, from 6-8 p.m., at the Drees Pavilion in Covington’s Devou Park (790 Park Lane, Covington). The event is free and open to the public.

A Sept. 23 Forum looked at Louisville’s success in moving interstate bridge projects forward there. Louisville agreed to support tolls to assure adequate funding for that city’s bridges. This second Forum, titled “Spanning the Spend: How Will We Pay for the Brent Spence Bridge Project,” will include a presentation on the recent options analysis and discussion with northern Kentucky elected officials about the project and its possible funding by tolls or other means. Public questions will be welcomed.

“The Northern Kentucky Forum is in a unique position to offer the community an open, transparent and unbiased conversation on this critical public policy issue,” said Tara Ford, Forum board chair. “We hope the community takes advantage of both our event and the resources we have gathered in advance, which include articles, websites and a video on the project's progress to date. Those are available at nkyforum.org.”

Panelists for the upcoming Forum include Covington Mayor Sherry Carran; Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier, chairman, Kentucky County Mayors' Group; State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill (Senate District 23, includes most of northern Kenton County); and State Rep. Adam Koening, R-Erlanger (House District 69; includes parts of Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties).

Dan Hurley of WKRC Channel 12 and host of “12 Newsmakers” will moderate.

Panelists will discuss their views on whether federal funding, although unavailable now, might be available in the future. The panel will be asked to address what funding alternatives they recommend instead of tolls, if local jurisdictions oppose tolls. They’ll also discuss how they see this issue playing out in Frankfort when the 2014 General Assembly convenes.

Free parking is available adjacent to the Drees Pavillion. RSVPs are appreciated to engage@nku.edu.

Take the poll…
The Forum invites you to visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NKYFORUMbridge prior to Nov. 4 and take a poll about the Brent Spence Bridge rehabilitation project.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Ohio Department of Transportation recently released the Options Analysis report that provides recommendations on how to deliver the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project better, faster and cheaper than the estimated $2.5 billion price tag. While there is a general consensus that the bridge should be updated with new lanes added and access improved, there is widespread disagreement on how to pay for the bridge’s rehabilitation.

The interstates (75 and 71) served by the Brent Spence Bridge link the northern and southern United States and create a vital economic corridor. But there are geometric deficiencies to the bridge’s design that don’t meet today’s design standards, according to Rob Hans, P.E., chief district engineer, Kentucky Department of Highways, Northern Kentucky district. “They met standards for the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s but just don’t meet today’s design standards,” Hans explains in a video interview about the bridge produced by the Forum. Click here to view the video.

Title: “I'm a (pick one: Democrat/Republican) because...”
About: Panelists will discuss how, and why, they chose their political party affiliation. WKRC Channel 12 reporter Joe Webb will moderate.
Date and Time: Dec. 10, 7:45-9:30 a.m.
Location: NKU METS Center (3861 Olympic Blvd, Erlanger)
Cost: Free event; light breakfast provided; RSVP requested to engage@nku.edu.

About the Northern Kentucky Forum…
The Northern Kentucky Forum is a nonpartisan, education-oriented effort to bring public affairs dialogue to our region. It is a joint project of the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Vision 2015 and Legacy. Have a topic suggestion? Email engage@nku.edu, like the Forum on Facebook and follow on Twitter (#nkyforum).

### NKU ###

Follow NKU news on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nkuedu.