Obama pledged support for fixing Sherman Minton Bridge, Yarmuth says

09/22/2011 05:31 PM

President Barack Obama told Louisville U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville on Air Force One on Thursday that the federal government would do everything that needs to be done to fix the closed Sherman Minton Bridge between Indiana and Lousiville, Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth told reporters on a conference call Thursday evening that he also urged the president to expedite federal approval for the Ohio River Bridges Project. That project includes construction of an East End Bridge at I-265 and a new bridge to downtown Louisville.

Yarmuth said the president expressed his support for that during the flight, which carried the president to Cincinnati for his speech calling for Congress to support his jobs plan that includes infrastructure spending.

It’s still unclear how much funding the federal government would be able to devote immediately to fixing — or potentially replacing the Sherman Minton Bridge. It has been closed for two weeks after inspectors found cracked steel support beams on the structure that carries vehicles on I-64 across the Ohio River.

Congress could pass legislation allowing emergency funding of about $140 million for the Sherman Minton, Yarmuth said.

“We still want to pursue that. But Speaker (John) Boehner says it’s a non-starter,” Yarmuth said.


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