State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) joined leaders from the Cincinnati region on Wednesday for a roundtable discussion with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to discuss infrastructure concerns affecting southwest Ohio.
The deteriorating condition of the Brent-Spence Bridge and worsening congestion along Route 32 were among several topics discussed during the forum hosted by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"Regional economic growth relies on our ability to connect products with markets and the workforce with the workplace," said Uecker.
Secretary Foxx acknowledged the Brent-Spence Bridge as a top priority but pointed to inter-jurisdictional disputes and approval processes as the reason for ongoing delays.
"It's obvious that bureaucracy has run amuck when the nation's top transportation official can't break through the red tape involved with this project," added Uecker. "We hope that Secretary Foxx and USDOT officials will reach an agreement with project partners in Kentucky before the risk to commuters becomes too severe for its continued use."
The 53-year-old bridge now carries twice its designed capacity and was deemed the nation's number one infrastructure emergency, according to The Hill, which is a Washington D.C.-based news publication.
Secretary Foxx's meeting with local leaders coincided with his presentation at the NAACP convention in Cincinnati. Appointed by President Obama in 2013, Secretary Foxx oversees more than 55,000 federal government employees and manages a $70 billion budget.