Anti-toll group spars with OKI’s Policinski on Brent Spence Bridge

“It was unbefitting of the station of OKI, inappropriate to the seriousness of the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project, and an injustice to residents and commuters who use the Bridge,” Meyer wrote in a letter to OKI. “Mr. Policinski should retract the statement and correct the record regarding the structural integrity of the Brent Spence Bridge.”

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Leaders of a Northern Kentucky group opposed to tolls wants the executive director of the region’s planning agency to retract a statement asserting that people who avoid driving on the Brent Spence Bridge because they fear for their safety are “realists.”

Joe Meyer, a member of Northern Kentucky United and a former Kentucky education secretary, said Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments executive director Mark Policinski’s statement is “unacceptable” and accused him of using fear tactics.

“It was unbefitting of the station of OKI, inappropriate to the seriousness of the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project, and an injustice to residents and commuters who use the Bridge,” Meyer wrote in a letter to OKI. “Mr. Policinski should retract the statement and correct the record regarding the structural integrity of the Brent Spence Bridge.”

In his statement, Policinski did not say he thought the bridge was going to collapse but did say that a press report, presumably a Cincinnati Enquirer story outlining recent bridge inspection reports, “of experts comparing the collapsed 2007 Minneapolis bridge to the condition of the Brent Spence Bridge are chilling.”

The Enquirer report quoted Abolhassan Astaneh, a structural and bridge expert at the University of California at Berkeley who was an expert witness in lawsuits filed as a result of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in which 13 died. But Astaneh did not compare the Brent Spence to the I-35 bridge.

In his statement, Policinski did not say he thought the bridge was going to collapse but did say that a press report, presumably a Cincinnati Enquirer story outlining recent bridge inspection reports, “of experts comparing the collapsed 2007 Minneapolis bridge to the condition of the Brent Spence Bridge are chilling.”

The Enquirer report quoted Abolhassan Astaneh, a structural and bridge expert at the University of California at Berkeley who was an expert witness in lawsuits filed as a result of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in which 13 died. But Astaneh did not compare the Brent Spence to the I-35 bridge.

Policinski could not immediately be reached for comment, but he told the Enquirer that he was not saying the bridge was going to fall into the Ohio River.

“You could have a bridge that is not going to fall in the river, but it still can be dangerous,” he said.

 

 


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