Group wants to raise funds & speed up construction of new bridge - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

New Brent Spence could become a toll bridge

There is a move to speed up the construction of a new Brent Spence Bridge. A group of local leaders are working together to try to drum up support for construction to begin up to five years earlier than projected.

The Build Our New Bridge Now coalition wants to push lawmakers to start allocating funding for the project, and one option is to make the new Brent Spence a toll bridge.

"That's a bad idea," said frequent bridge user Spencer Asbury. "As bad as it is out here nowadays, the economy and all that, people don't need to pay just to go across the bridge."

Classified as functionally obsolete by the federal government, the Brent Spence Bridge carries double of the amount of traffic today that it was designed for.

"What type of business is going to want to move here, and locate here, if our transportation system is choking on itself? asked Libby Korosec with the Build Our New Bridge Now coalition. "Every month that we wait, we add $8 million onto this project. That's taxpayers' dollars. That's your dollars, that's my dollars."

The coalition says once the funding for the Brent Spence is secured, the new bridge could be completed in as little as three years.

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