FRANKFORT, Ky. – What the Kentucky Kentucky House of Representatives takes away, the Commowealth's Senate returns.
On Wednesday, the Kentucky Senate's Transportation committee restored $36 million in state funding 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 House Bill 407. Local state representative Arnold Simpson inserted an amendment stripping toll funding for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement. f the Kentucky Senate approves the bill passed in the House the major funding mechanism for $2.6 billion construction project would be gone.
As a result of that move, a 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 in the House only applied to the Brent Spence Bridge project in the Commonwealth in the bill. The Senate has yet to approve the House's version of the transportation 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.”