Some believe bridge toll would hurt business

(FOX19) - Tolling has become a commonplace on many bridges and highway projects across the country. Electric bar code passes are even available for drivers who frequently pass through toll gates.

However, getting people to pay for something that has always been free is hard to sell.

On Wednesday, Ohio and Kentucky Governors signed an agreement on how the neighboring states will work together to build a new bridge of the Ohio River. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the only way to fund the project of a new bridge is by charging a toll on the Brent Spence.

Local business owner, Allen Shephard, reacted to the toll news.

"I really think that the toll bridge is going to be detrimental to businesses in Northern Kentucky. I don't think it's a good idea at all".

Some argue that increased traffic might be better for business.

"I don't really think it would send more new customers past the store because if they're stopping at the toll, they're less likely to go ahead and get off that exit", said Shephard.

If drivers do get off the exit in an effort to get around the toll, and use the Clay Wade Bailey or the Suspension Bridge, there may be another problem to deal with.

Larry Klein, Covington's City Manager agreed, "You would not want that traffic transferred to another area because you'd be sending traffic through residential areas, through city streets and roads that were not built to accommodate interstate traffic."

A financing plan for the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Construction on the new bridge could begin as early as 2014, costing an estimated $2.5 billion.

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