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KYTC to contribute $15 million for new parking garage at Kenton County Government Center

Staff report

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on Wednesday announced it will contribute $15 million toward the construction of a new underground parking garage serving the Kenton County Government Center to make way for the new Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project.

The move marks a major step in the development, as the current parking area will be absorbed into the right-of-way of the project. The new structure will create an area for future economic development opportunities. The state will also realize at least $15 million in construction cost savings from not having to replace the bridge that currently covers the existing parking lot.

“In Kentucky, we get the job done – and today we made progress on the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “By relocating the Kenton County parking garage, we are freeing up an area needed for this crucial project and saving millions of dollars in the process because of less construction costs. This is a win-win for this community and all of Northern Kentucky.”

The garage will replace parking spots beneath a blocks-long bridge on the elevated Interstate Highways 71 and 75 in Covington. Employees of the Kenton County Government Center currently have about 160 parking spots beneath the interstate bridge between West Pike Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which are about two blocks apart.

A sizable portion of the existing parking is needed for the $3.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge project, which will include the construction of a companion bridge to share the traffic load currently borne by the Brent Spence Bridge.

The cost savings will come from not having to replace the entire elevated bridge that covers the current parking lot. Instead, the project team can build smaller, individual bridges over West Pike and MLK Boulevard, filling in the ground between so that the reconstructed section of highway would rest on a berm.

“We appreciate the Commonwealth working with Kenton County to mitigate the loss of parking caused by the Brent Spence Bridge project,” said Kenton County Judge-Executive Kris Knochelmann. “Convenient and abundant parking was key to our decision to relocate the Kenton County Government Center to the 12th Street interchange, and this solution makes us whole. Secretary Jim Gray and his team have been great partners in recognizing and addressing the local issues generated by such a large and nationally significant project.”

“This new garage will also contribute to Kenton County’s already significant work to make the 12th Street interchange a premier gateway into the city of Covington.” Knochelmann said. “All-in-all, the revitalization of the 12th Street interchange has been a big win for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kenton County and the City of Covington.”

In December 2022, Gov. Beshear joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to announce that the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project was awarded federal funding grants worth more than $1.6 billion, giving the landmark bridge and corridor project the green light to move toward construction.

Spanning eight miles between the Western Hills Viaduct in Ohio and Dixie Highway in Kentucky, the project will improve safety and travel on the interstate connection that carries more than $700 billion worth of freight every year.

In addition, the project will improve access to the central business districts of Cincinnati and Covington, and also support local businesses and underserved communities in historic neighborhoods on both sides of the river. Ohio and Kentucky are working together to deliver the project.

A Brent Spence Bridge Corridor fact sheet is available at brentspencebridgecorridor.com.

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