Public hearing begins on environmental impacts of Brent Spence Bridge Corridor

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CINCINNATI — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) are holding five public hearings to discuss additional environmental assessments for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor.

ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said the public hearing will examine the report in detail and allow people to voice their opinions.

“There will be a court stenographer there, everything will be recorded, and all comments will be officially recorded and responded to. So there will be no Q&A during the actual hearing,” Blue said. Ning said.

He said the hearing will be preceded by an open house format.

There will be four in-person meetings, two in Ohio and two in Kentucky, and one virtual meeting. If you would like to make a public comment, please register in advance.

“We want to hear from really everyone who is affected in some way by what we’re doing here,” Bruning said.

Matt Butler of the Devou Good Foundation said it’s important for the community to participate in these meetings.

“This is a huge amount of money,” Butler said. “It is important for ODOT to hear from the public what they want from this project. We hope ODOT will seriously consider all of these comments.”

Butler said each person will be given two minutes to speak. He wants ODOT and KYTC to take a step back because he is concerned about the environmental impact the project will have on the community and people living nearby.

“What they’re cheating is that we’re highly isolated here, and most of the minorities live in densely populated areas right next to the project area. So they’re more “You’re going to inhale a lot of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, you’re going to have to deal with more water runoff and more noise from there,” Butler said.

In an environmental justice analysis report, minority and low-income residents expressed concerns about the project. Their concerns include increased traffic and associated noise, air quality, a desire for sound barriers, the creation of additional development land, and improved connections to and from Ohio I-75.

“In fact, I think we’ve achieved quite a bit by trying to undo some of the things that happened when we built the highway system,” Bruning said. We “seek to improve connectivity between downtown and communities west of the interstate.”

Bruning said the city of Cincinnati wants better connectivity at Ezzard Charles Drive. He said it came out of a walking tour with the Cincinnati mayor and ODOT director. Bruning said a wider overpass with developable green space would be built there.

Another concern for Butler is the increase in lane counts and transportation emissions. He said he wants ODOT to thoroughly investigate the environmental impacts.

“They’ve been operating under what’s called a supplemental environmental assessment since 2012, and a lot of things have changed over the last 12 years. ODOT has changed this plan pretty dramatically,” Butler said.

He pointed out that there is now more science behind global warming and greenhouse gas emissions and what is causing it.

Bruning said he spent years reevaluating that report.

“Over the last two-and-a-half to three years, we’ve been looking at and updating all of our technical documentation and analysis, so it’s all been re-evaluated. So obviously a lot of things have changed from project to project as well.” he said.

The Federal Highway Administration approved a public review in January.

The public hearing will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Covington on Tuesday, February 20th from noon to 3:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. A public hearing will be held at the same time on Wednesday, February 21st at Longworth Hall. Cincinnati Event Center. The virtual meeting will be held on February 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

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