Of the first of many steps the presidency will take this new year, Democratic President Joe Biden has appeared with Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel to promote the US trillion 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in Kentucky. Furthermore, Republican Ohio governor Mike Dewine, Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and Senate Sherrod Brown will accompany the two. Taking place at a Wednesday event, the aim is to showcase the impact that the one trillion dollar infrastructure bill will have upon Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure of the foreseeable future.
Among many things the bill hopes to achieve, one of these main focuses is improving transportation infrastructure. In terms of Kentucky, this would involve the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Brent Spence Bridge on Interstate 75 and 71. The bridges, having been built in the 1960s, were intended to manage 80,000 vehicles. However, today that number has doubled resulting in traffic congestion, bottlenecking an important shipping corridor for the country, and crippling the country’s economic growth.
As such, the goal of the reconstruction would involve reducing traffic congestion, with the new bridge covering around eight miles. It would also include many improvements to the bridge, such as the construction of a second crossing, connecting roads, and even constructing a companion span for the bridges.
Moreover, the Brent Spence Bridge will be one of many bridges that will be under construction. According to an official White House document surrounding its Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework for Kentucky, the bill will devote over 312 billion dollars to fund the repair and rebuilding of transportation infrastructure to improve its resilience, due to drivers having to pay about 444 dollars for repairs a year due to poor road conditions. Furthermore, the bill will also devote around 110 billion dollars to roads, bridges, and other major transportation-related projects, among other investments.
Based on a Reuters article covering the event, stated that the construction was intended to take place the day after McCarthy’s Republicans took the majority in the house, removing the Democrats’ control over congress, and fostering another period of a divided government. It should be noted that many Republicans have voted for this reconstruction plan, in particular McConnell of Kentucky, whose state, alongside Ohio, has requested funding for such a project for years.
Nonetheless, one thing is made apparent to everyone in Kentucky: the transportation infrastructure is in a much-needed remodeling. By rebuilding and rehabilitating Kentucky’s outdated transportation infrastructure as facilitated by the bill, the hope is that the lives of millions of Kentucky’s residents will be improved alongside a rise in economic growth.
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