ERLANGER, Ky. – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin likes the idea of an eastern bypass as well as a new bridge to try to cut traffic congestion in the Brent Spence corridor.
Bevin came out strongly in favor of the bypass last week and ordered a detailed study of the plan.
The Cincy Eastern Bypass plan calls for a 68-mile highway that starts in Franklin in Warren County, skirts to the east of Hamilton County and then goes into Northern Kentucky.
“We need to fix the Brent Spence Corridor and build a new bridge and we also need to build a bypass because we need to be looking - not just two and five years into the future - but 20 and 50 years into the future,” Bevin said
“This whole Cincinnati region — Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati — this whole area is going to explode. It really is,” the governor said.
In Northern Kentucky, the eastern bypass would begin around California in Campbell County, continue south of Visalia through Kenton County and then on into Boone County.
The western end of the bypass would come near Routes 25 and 14 and then be connected to a new interchange on I-75 between Walton and Crittenden.
Dr. Jack Lenihan, a dentist in the Crittenden area for 18 years, says he loves living and working in Grant County.
"You have a rural feel, but you're close enough to Florence or Lexington or Covington of Cincinnati. So, it's close enough, yet far enough away," Lenihan said.
But he' excited about the possibilities a bypas would bring even if it means new congestion.
“That would be positive because there would be development and more subdivisions and I think growth,” Lenihan said. “Grant County grew a lot 20 years ago, then stopped. So, I think it would help growth again and I think it would make it an even better place to live.”
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is solidly behind fixing the Brent Spence Bridge corridor. New President and CEO Brent Cooper says the organization hasn't taken a position yet on the bypass.
“Building roads and bridges opens up all kinds of economic activity and so it's something that could turn into a real economic boon for Northern Kentucky,” Cooper said.
The study of the bypass plan is due by the end of the year.
One very big question is the cost — the bridge alone could be $2.5 billion — and there's no firm plan to pay for either one.
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