U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., will travel with President Obama on Air Force One Thursday morning en route to the Brent Spence Bridge in northern Kentucky.
The president is visiting the span in Cincinnati to rally support for his jobs plan and both lawmakers plan to speak with Mr. Obama directly about the region’s infrastructure needs and closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville.
Paul says if the White House is serious about fixing bridges, Mr. Obama will consider an emergency bridge fund that he’s proposing.
“I am looking forward to speaking with the president in my home state to address the express need for attention to our nation’s critical infrastructure needs. I will present him with my plan to prioritize these projects by freeing up funding to fix our broken roads and bridges, for which America’s businesses and commerce is so dependent,” he says.
The plan will use money previously set aside for unnecessary projects such as turtle tunnels, squirrel sanctuaries, movie theaters and flower beds. It will also direct federal officials to develop a national priority list for bridge and road repair.
Yarmuth says he will discuss the closure of the Sherman Minton with the president and focus on the ramifications the shut down has had on the local and regional economy.
“The closure of this major transportation artery in Louisville has not only caused substantial hardship for commuters and local businesses, but has disrupted transportation and commerce for the entire region. I am eager to discuss its impact as well as the critical need for infrastructure investment in Kentucky,” says Yarmuth.
The president is expected to speak at the span connecting Kentucky and Ohio around 1 p.m. Thursday.