10:48pm

Mon June 23, 2014
The Commonwealth

Efforts to Keep Tolls Off No. Ky. Bridge Draw In McConnell, Grimes

The possibility of tolls to pay  for a $2.6-billion bridge replacement project in Northern Kentucky has enraged conservatives and become an issue in the U.S. Senate campaign.

Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have ideas—very different ideas—to keep tolls off the Brent Spence Bridge. The issue highlights the different campaign philosophies by Kentucky's major party Senate candidates.

U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Senator Mitch McConnellCredit Secretary of State's Office/U.S. SenateEdit | Remove

McConnell on Monday introduced the Emergency Interstate Bridge Safety Act, which he said could cover the cost of the project. The proposal would repeal the prevailing wage law known as the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act. Davis-Bacon allows generally higher construction wages on federal projects.

Offset spending from McConnell's bill could go to the project to replace the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington and Cincinnati.

In a statement, McConnell called the Davis-Bacon Act "more obsolete than the Brent Spence Bridge itself."

Grimes'  plan, introduced last Friday, would close federal tax code loopholes that, according to her campaign, could raise $75 billion—more than enough to pay for the project.

 

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