Bridges Bill Clears Kentucky House Panel

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Two of Gov. Steve Beshear’s four special session bills have cleared their first hurdle in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The first bill would create a government authority to oversee major bridge projects in the state. The authority would use bonds to finance the projects and likely impose tolls to retire the bonds. Rep. Jim Wayne says that includes the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville.

“The way it’s anticipated is that tolls would have to be part of the financing of the Louisville bridges. Right now, the Louisville bridges are estimated to cost about four-point-one billion dollars. But that figure is probably about half of what it’s really going to cost.”

The other bill winning House Appropriations and Revenue committee approval provides economic incentives to make Kentucky more attractive to businesses like the film industry. Incentives to help bring a NASCAR Sprint Cup Race to the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta are also in the bill.