Additional Study Ordered On Bridges Project

by Rick Howlett on February 14, 2011

The Federal Highway Administration says cost cutting measures proposed for the Ohio River Bridges Project will require study, including a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

The governors of Kentucky and Indiana and Mayor Greg Fischer last month proposed that the $4.1 billion project be scaled down to save $500 million.

The suggested cutbacks include a smaller east end Bridge, reconfiguring Spaghetti Junction at its present site instead of moving it south, and removing walkways from a new downtown bridge.

Project Manager Gary Valentine says the changes have potential environmental impacts not considered in earlier studies.

He says the new review should take about a year, “which is within the timeline that we have indicated all along, with the goal of still getting into construction by August of 2012,” he said.

The bi-state bridges authority will also host an industry forum this week to discuss ways to make the project more cost-efficient.

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{ 2 comments }

Derby City Espresso February 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

There will never be a third downtown bridge. DC is funding high speed rail, not highway expansion. And I for one am happy for it. Maybe they should propose some light rail or even a high speed line between the Derby City and the Windy City.

Chuck Burke February 15, 2011 at 7:47 am

If ORBP is successful in building everything it proposes, history will not treat it or the people behind it very kindly. Once the tolls arrive, they’ll never be removed. There will always be another reason to keep them.

ORBP wants to build an elevated downtown interchange big enough to rival anything in California. It’s insanely expensive and worst of all it’s just not needed given an east-end bridge/bypass. With an east-end bridge, the downtown expansion becomes unnecessary – the Ky Transportation Cabinet has said that 95%+ of our traffic congestion problems can be solved by an east-end bridge alone.

Louisville, like every other city in the world, needs BYPASSES, not more capacity running through the heart of it. Our air pollution is already some of the worst in the nation, why not give interstate travelers who have no intention whatsoever of stopping here the ability to bypass the city instead of clogging up the interstates inside our downtown?

Build the east-end bridge alone and save the other $3,000,000,000 (Billion).

Best,
– Chuck

PS. Given the incredible amount of heat and protest around this issue, I can’t help but to think there is another reason the powers-that-be insist on having this built. It just starts to feels like some sort of impetus exists that no one is talking about. What is it?

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