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News Item #705
[The Ohio River]
“I didn’t say that all.” Bunning Denies Saying Louisville Bridge Project Should be Delayed
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:36AM CST

According to an Associated Press story, U.S. Senator Jim Bunning told a Louisville civic group that one of Louisville’s new interstate bridges over the Ohio River will need to be delayed. The Associated Press reports that Sen. Bunning later told a WHAS-TV reporter, “I think it's very important that you get a bridge ... and make sure you decide where you are going to put the first one. And then, you are going to have to wait a year or two or three because we have to divert some money up into northern Kentucky to get that because ours is falling down.”

This shocked Louisville leaders. The two bridges have already been approved by the Federal Highway Administration as a single project, and the proposed state budget has allocated $118 million to continue design work for the bridges. Bunning said that the Louisville will get one bridge and then money will be used to replace the Brent Spence Bridge carrying I-71/I-75 over the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky. Bunning is from Northern Kentucky.

On Saturday, Bunning told a report from Louisville’s Courier-Journal that he never said the second bridge would be delayed and refused to give further comment.

Steve Higdon, president of Greater Louisville Inc, said that he believes Bunning was unaware that the two bridges had been approved as a single project and that as soon Bunning was made aware of this fact it would “put the entire issue to rest.”

More information: Associated Press: Bunning denies saying bridge project should be delayed for N. Kentucky bridge (Feb. 22, 2004) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Bunning talk on bridges a shocker (Feb. 22, 2004) [Outside Link]

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Updated: 24-Feb-2004 10:36AM CST

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