I've spoken more than once in the past couple of weeks about the Sherman Minton Bridge. As you may recall, that's the bridge on I-64 connecting Louisville, KY, and New Albany, IN, across the Ohio River. After decades of overuse, it's been shut down indefinitely because of dangerous cracking.
On Friday, I visited the bridge to see for myself what a serious problem this really is for the people from Kentucky and Indiana who rely on the bridge to get where they need to go. I wanted to hear about the safety issues that threaten the bridge and to learn what the folks on the ground plan to do about it.
Now, if the Sherman Minton's challenges were unique, fixing it would simply be a matter of finding the resources to restore it. But this bridge is far from unique; instead, it's a symbol of the disrepair that’s striking tens of thousands of other bridges in America. Crumbling infrastructure, crumbling roads, crumbling bridges--this is what's happening across the nation, and our states don't have the money to make it right.
We must pass the American Jobs Act so Americans, like the construction workers seeking jobs in Kentucky and Indiana, can go back to work fixing up bridges like the Sherman Minton.
As I told Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, U.S. Representative John Yarmuth, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, and Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan, we will continue to work closely with the two states to repair this bridge as quickly as possible. I-64 is a major commercial artery--for people, parts, and products--and the Sherman Minton Bridge is simply too important.
As Mayor Galligan said, “We need to get this bridge fixed.”
From the Courier-Journal: How the Sherman Minton closure affects Southern Indiana's Eagle Steel,
which delivers steel to businesses, including Ford and GE, in Louisville dozens of times a day.
That's why business leaders and labor leaders are adding their voices to these cries. But they're saying, "We need to pass the American Jobs Act. We need to put Americans back to work rebuilding America."
They're right about that. We have work that needs doing. We have small businesses ready to do that work. And we have construction workers desperate to get back on the job repairing, replacing, and modernizing our roads, rails, and runways.
Let's make it happen. Let's pass the American Jobs Act.