February 21, 2012
Janson issues Brent Spence call to action
At the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s annual dinner last week, newly-installed Board Chair Julie Janson urged local business and community leaders to build momentum to replace the aging Brent Spence Bridge.
"Without a new bridge, our structure to deliver our products fails us. Our system to receive materials to build those products fails us. Simply put, our economy fails us," said Janson, the CEO of Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky. "So I am dedicating myself and I ask the business community to grab the lead on this project, not for a year, not for two, but seize it and drive it until we cross the finish line."
Duke Energy has pledged $20,000 to fund a comprehensive campaign to build support for a new Brent Spence Bridge.
The Chamber has identified the $2.4 billion Brent Spence replacement as one of the most important infrastructure issues facing the region.
The 48-year-old bridge carries more than twice the traffic it was designed for. Lanes are too narrow, visibility is poor and emergency shoulders are nonexistent. It also is one of the busiest trucking routes in the nation.
Funding for a replacement, however, is far from certain: Congress continues to debate a long-term transportation bill.
Calling the Brent Spence the region’s “bridge to everywhere,” Janson asked the business community to take the lead in advocating for funds and political support.
"In this global economy, the movement of goods is of supreme importance," she said. "That is why the world - from China to Canada - is investing in infrastructure at rates not seen in history. That is why our region must tackle its largest infrastructure problem, building the Brent Spence Bridge, if we are going to compete in the world."
“Will you join together to pledge your dollars, your talents, your influence and your persistence to meet this great task? Will you join me and build a new Brent Spence Bridge?” Janson asked.