Ban on Brent Spence Bridge tolls clears Kentucky Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Senate voted 27-9 Thursday to pass House Bill 407 (HB 407), legislation that would prevent tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge.

The Kentucky Senate's Transportation committee restored $36 million in state funding Wednesday for the contentious plan to move forward with the I-75 bridge project to alleviate traffic on the aging Brent Spence Bridge.

Last week, state representatives voted 82-7 to pass HB 407. Local state representative Arnold Simpson inserted an amendment stripping toll funding for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement. With the Senate vote Thursday, the major funding mechanism for the $2.6 billion construction project is gone.

As a result of that move, the House budget committee voted to remove $36 million dollars in state funds from the project and moved it through the rest of the House.

The restriction on tolls for public-private construction partnerships applies to the Brent Spence Bridge project in the Commonwealth in the bill.

In January, Simpson, a Democrat from Covington, said he wanted to wait a couple of years to see how a bridge project funded in part with tolls in Louisville played out before doing the same thing in Northern Kentucky.

“The Brent Spence Bridge, where it’s functionally obsolete, it’s still structurally sound,” Simpson said. “It has a useful life of 10 to 20 years.”

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