FRANKFORT, KY (April 25, 2022) — The 2022 Legislative Session of the Kentucky General Assembly concluded on Thursday, April 14. Included in this year’s road plan was funding for significant projects in Kenton County. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) and Senate Budget Chair Chris McDaniel (R-Ryland Heights) played instrumental roles in securing funding for these vital projects.
“I’m grateful to be an advocate for Kenton County along with my friend, Sen. McDaniel,” Thayer said. “As northern Kentucky continues to grow, it’s important that our highways, roads, and bridges are capable of accommodating that growth.”
Thayer represents Senate District 17, stretching from the northwestern portion of Fayette County to southern Kenton County. McDaniel represents Senate District 23, which consists of northern Kenton County.
“While funding for maintenance and construction of state roads, highways, and bridges utilizes different revenue streams than executive branch agencies’ operation, the philosophy and needs remain the same,” McDaniel said. “As budget chair, I understand the critical nature of justly allocating state funds because it impacts every Kentuckian. Taxpayers entrust us with their tax dollars, so we must support measures directly benefiting them. That priority was reflected in this year’s state budget and road plan.”
Perhaps the most significant achievement for Kenton County and the commonwealth in this year’s road plan is the allocation of $250 million in general fund dollars to secure federal grants for state megaprojects, the highest priority being the completion of the Brent Spence Bridge. The project’s expected federal grant funds will total around $720 million and federally reimbursable bonds totaling $150 million. With the money authorized by Senators Thayer, McDaniel and the rest of the Kentucky General Assembly, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can now apply to receive federal support for the project. The Brent Spence Bridge will be the cabinet’s main focus in the first round of grant applications to maximize Kentucky’s efforts.
“Northern Kentucky is located in the “golden triangle” because of our immense growth and thanks to the conservative, fiscally sound and responsible policies of the Kentucky General Assembly,” Thayer said. “We have kept our promise to expand the Brent Spence Bridge without tolls. The positive impact of a megaproject like this is immeasurable.”
“This is something we’ve needed to get done for a long time,” McDaniel said. “The legislature felt it was incumbent on us to not use one-time federal dollars for budgetary items that would have recurring costs to the taxpayer. Completing the Brent Spence Bridge has long been a top priority of mine, and fellow lawmakers shared that vision this year.”
Kenton County will also receive funding to complete multiple sections of the Mt. Zion Road (KY-536) project.
“On a more local level for Kenton County, my main priority was to continue improving Mt. Zion Road from the Boone County line eastward to Independence,” Thayer said. “I am happy to announce that those improvements will continue to move forward.”
“We are looking at nearly $65 million in funding to complete the Mt. Zion Road project. This is fantastic news for Kenton County,” McDaniel said. “In addition, we have funds appropriated for multiple projects in the central corridor of Covington, paving on Dixie Highway in Ft. Mitchell, bridge work in Ryland Heights, long-overdue rework on Stevenson Road in Erlanger, and several other projects throughout the 23rd District.”
The Mt. Zion Road project has been broken into four sections, with one section getting underway in the last road plan. With this road plan enacted, priority section two will begin construction in 2023 and continue through 2025. Section three of the project will include land acquisition for right-of-way and identification and repositioning of utilities starting in 2023 and continuing through 2026. Section four of this project will also be ready for construction funds in the next road plan.