January 22, 2013 11:30 AM, EST
Ohio, Kentucky May Consider Tolling I-75 Bridge

Transportation officials in Ohio and Kentucky expect to release a joint evaluation in March on financing options for a new bridge to replace the Interstate 75 bridge near Cincinnati that connects the two states across the Ohio River — including the possibility of adding tolls, reported.

Replacing the 49-year-old Brent Spence Bridge that carries I-75 and I-71 traffic between Cincinnati and Covington, Ky., would cost about $2 billion, according to estimates.

In September 2011, President Obama highlighted the degradation of the bridge and called on Congress to pass a jobs bill that included $27 billion for highways and bridges.

Legislatures in the two states are considering options to pay for the bridge’s replacement — including creating a public-private partnership and adding tolls, reported.

Trucking companies are concerned about possible tolling, the Cincinnati Inquirer reported, adding that local firms were prepared to divert their trucks to I-275 and I-471 if the Brent Spence becomes a toll route.

Preliminary discussions suggest that each of the 30,000 trucks that use the bridge daily might have to pay between $20 and $30 in tolls per round trip, the Inquirer said.

The Kentucky Motor Transport Association is opposed to the tolls, a spokesperson told the Inquirer.