Questions loom with Brent Spence Bridge tolls - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Questions loom with Brent Spence Bridge tolls

(PHOTO: FOX19 File) (PHOTO: FOX19 File)
FOX19 -

As state leaders shift their focus towards tolls, some commuters said they're already plan on finding a different route to avoid the Brent Spence Bridge.

There are six bridges connecting the Buckeye and Bluegrass States, but many Kentuckians aren't on board with adding tolls to one of them.

"I love this city, but it's going to be killed with these tolls," said Northern Kentucky resident Candice White.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in Wednesday's press conference that residents from both sides need to be team players.

"Everybody is out for themselves, give a little," said Kasich.

Joe Meyers with Northern Kentucky United cites, a study done by OKI that shows about 25,000 vehicles will divert daily to the Clay Wade Bailey and Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, while the Roebling Taylor Southgate, and the Combs-Hehl will see between 6,000-12,000 extra vehicles.

Meyers said this will delay response time for emergency personnel and there's not sufficient funds for the other bridges that may need repairs with added traffic.

"Fourth and Fifth Street in Covington can't handle another 25,000 cars a day," said Meyer.

So what does this mean financially for someone who commutes daily across the Brent Spence? Only including weekdays, at the discounted one dollar, one-way local fee, it adds up to about $500 a year.

"We are not only seeing no economic benefit but we're seeing real disaster," said Meyer.

But Trey Grayson with the Northern Kentucky Chamber disagrees.

"We have a bridge that is functionally obsolete that everyday has traffic that has gotten worse and worse and not better so we know we have to fix the problem," said Grayson.

Last year the Northern Kentucky Chamber commissioned a diversion study that found the net impact would reduce commuter traffic by less than two percent, and possibly increase traffic by a one percent.

"The data shows that the diversion is a factor," said Grayson.

Grayson adds avoiding tolls, only adds hassle and a waste of gas.

"Some folks will say, everybody will get off at the Covington exit, drive across the Bailey Bridge, the suspension bridge, just to get back on, all to save a buck because that's essentially what we're talking about, that just defies common sense," said Grayson.

Kentcuky Gov. Steve Beshear acknowledged on Wednesday that in addition to past research, there's another study going on right now to determine what diversion will occur with tolls.

He stressed there's no plan to leave any community in Northern Kentucky out in the dust.

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