Cities don't build interstates, or interstate bridges. They're usually considered a state responsibility. So, Cincinnati's not on the hook to pay for the Brent Spence Bridge.
It's not Ohio's problem, either: Kentucky owns the bridge, thanks to a 1981 federal court ruling that the Bluegrass State owns the Ohio River.
Ohio is funding part of the project, but that's forthe stretch of Interstate 75 running through Queensgate just north of the bridge. The work would augment the ongoing, 10-year, half-billion-dollar Mill Creek Expressway overhaul project, which began in 2010 and stretches from the Western Hills Viaduct to the Paddock Road interchange in Norwood.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was also instrumental in urging the Ohio Department of Transportation to coordinate with then-Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to develop the joint proposal to build a sister bridge to sit alongside the Brent Spence, a plan that transportation officials price-tagged at about $2.6 billion. The two governors unveiled the plan together at a 2014 news conference in Covington.
What's pumping the brakes on getting the project started: how to pay for it, a topic of contention since it became clear the corridor needed attention. Some Northern Kentucky lawmakers are especially wary of the idea of using tolls to fund the project -- a common measure with big infrastructure projects these days, more and more of which rely on public-private partnerships.
The idea with "P3's," as they're often called, is the government partners with a private firm, and then re-pays the costs of a project over time. Tolls are a common financing tool for such projects. Some leaders south of the river, though, feel Northern Kentucky commuters would bear an unfair burden of the cost, since more Northern Kentuckians work in Cincinnati than vice-versa.
That's a good sign that Cincinnati's funding isn't at risk.
Saying you're a "sanctuary city" doesn't make you one.
We've run through the litany of reasons Cincinnati may not really be a "sanctuary city," but they're worth reiterating:
Official policy instructs Cincinnati police to cooperate with federal immigration officials, though they're told not to target or arrest people simply because they might be undocumented.
Cincinnati police don't get ICE detainer requests because the city doesn't have its own jail. Instead, city inmates go to the Downtown jail that Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil operates.
And Neil said deputies will continue to detain undocumented inmates at the request of federal immigration authorities. Mike Robison, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, confirmed no policies changed at the Hamilton County Justice Center even after Cranley declared Cincinnati to be a "sanctuary city."
Trump's executive order focuses on a very specific part of federal law pertaining to local officials' communication with federal immigration agents. Cranley and the city's top attorney say Cincinnati complies with federal law, and WCPO has not found any city policies that are in violation.