Nation & World

Kentucky politicians to talk with Obama about Louisville bridge

President Barack Obama will appear at the run-down Brent Spence bridge in Cincinnati tomorrow to sell his $447 billion jobs bill, but first he'll be hearing a lot about another Ohio River bridge in crisis.

Both Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Gov. Steve Beshear will be meeting beforehand with Obama to discuss the Sherman Minton bridge, whose two-week shutdown because of structural flaws is paralyzing Louisville and southern Indiana.

The fact that Beshear did not appear earlier this year at Obama's only public visit to Kentucky since taking office provoked political tongue-wagging, and there's plenty of maneuvering over Obama's jobs bill. But for people in Louisville, the urgency of the bridge crisis trumps political considerations.

"This is not a Republican or Democratic issue," said Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter. "This is a real life issue every day, with people getting up at 3 a.m. to get to work, and businesses that are being harmed because they can't get their goods in and out of Louisville."

Last Saturday, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., stood with U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and pledged to find a way to reopen the bridge.

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