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OKI Talking Transportation In DC This Week

The Brent Spence Bridge will be a lead topic during discussions in Washington D.C. this week.
Michael Keating
The Brent Spence Bridge will be a lead topic during discussions in Washington D.C. this week.

A group that coordinates regional transportation efforts - like funding a new - is in Washington D.C. this week. Members of the OKI Regional Council of Governments meet each year with lawmakers from the three-state region.This is their first under the Trump administration, which has promised spending $500 billion to $1 trillion on infrastructure projects.

"The new Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, is familiar with our region and we're hoping that her vast experience under two other presidents will bring a new set of eyes to the transportation funding crisis that we're in," says Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs Lorrie Platt.

The group is requesting a meeting with Chao as well as elected leaders from the region.

"The Brent Spence Bridge is always our number one topic, it has been the last several years," says Platt. "We'll also talk about the Western Hills Viaduct, the Boone County Transportation Plan that's going to be underway soon. We'll also touch on the Indiana Port, the new fourth port announcement that came out in late 2016."

As for the Brent Spence Bridge, it's currently being studied by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration. That study is due by the end of September, 2017. Platt says the next step after that is getting Ohio and Kentucky to agree on a funding plan to present to the federal government. Kentucky legislators last year voted to ban tolling as a way to fund a replacement.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.