Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will have a chance to discuss the Sherman Minton Bridge closure with President Barack Obama directly when the president visits the Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky.
The White House sent the mayor an invitation Tuesday to join the president after Fischer met with Obama’s senior adviser. Mr. Obama is stopping in Cincinnati later this week to rally support for and urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, which carries $50 billion in infrastructure funding.
“I want to take our case directly to the president and I will stress as strongly as possible the need for quick and direct support from the federal government,” says Fischer. “We are working hard to pursue all possible options and to stress our needs as quickly as possible.”
The mayor also plans to discuss the Ohio River Bridges Project and stress to the president the needs to get it under construction as soon as possible.
A bipartisan group of Metro Council members and civic leaders rallied Tuesday in support of an infrastructure resolution that calls for the project to be expedited and an immediate construction of the East End bridge to begin. Many speakers, including former Jefferson County Judge Executive Rebecca Jackson, urged President Obama to visit the Sherman Minton and sped up the project.
The mayor met with Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez Monday, who told Fischer the Sherman Minton was the number one priority for the agency.
The president will visit the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects northern Kentucky to Cincinnati, at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Meanwhile, Congressman John Yarmuth’s office has announced that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood and Federal Highway Administration chief Victor Mendez will tour the Sherman Minton Bridge this Friday.