© 2022 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Infrastructure Bill Could Bring 'Seismic Change' In Kentucky, Leading Republican Predicts

Josh James

The top Republican in the Kentucky Senate says, if passed, the federal infrastructure package would dramatically alter the state's transportation budget ⁠— potentially relieving longstanding congestion problems on a vital artery linking Kentucky and Ohio.

Senate President Robert Stivers is sounding upbeat that the massive infrastructure deal still winding its way through Congress could eliminate the need for tolls to pay for a long-sought overhaul and additions to the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Covington and Cincinnati.

"So you can see about the magnitude of this proposal that has come out of the (U.S.) Senate and going to House," the Manchester lawmaker said during a press call Friday. "It would would seriously and beneficially impact the state of Kentucky."

The outdated Brent Spence, famously refered to by President Joe Biden as "that damned bridge," has become a national symbol for desperately needed infrastructure spending.

But Stivers said the current infrastructure package would pave the way for upgrades far beyond metro areas. He cited the Louie B. Nunn corridor, the Mountain Parkway in Eastern Kentucky, and the Hal Rogers Parkway in the southeastern part of the state. In addition, Stivers predicted the bill would help "frame the picture for what we have to do with electronic vehicles."

The bipartisan bill still has its own potential roadblocks to get past. Democratic leaders are working to maintain enough votes, as the party tries to maneuver a budget resolution and a separate social spending bill through the process.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.