Bridges Authority Focused On Data

by Dalton Main on April 7, 2011

The Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority met Thursday.

The Authority is still awaiting results on a new Environmental Impact Study. The report is required for changes to the project proposed by the Governors of Indiana and Kentucky and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

However, the panel has made advances in its own data-gathering. The Finance Committee met last month and announced the completion of a traffic flow study. Executive Director Steve Schulz Thursday said the committee should remain focused on its objectives in light of the recent changes.

“We’ve come to this project with the benefits of the project having been identified by those who came before us,” says Schulz “but again in the spirit of this data gathering I think we need to put a sharper point on that and understand exactly what those benefits are likely to be so that we can measure ourselves in terms of how well we do in terms of delivering on those promises.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Greg Fischer and the governors of Indiana and Kentucky proposed ways to scale back the project to reduce its projected $4.1 billion cost. A forum was held in February to look at ways to further cut costs.

Authority co-chair Kerry Stemler says the industry forum was a huge success, and he expects it to help speed the project along.

“The interest in this project is enormous,” he said “we had over 900 firms and companies and individuals pre-register for the forum which is part of a planning process out of finance and construction committee which the two governors and the mayor asked us to get behind and get it done and get it done rather quickly.”

The authority will not meet again until July 7th, but members plan to schedule public hearings for the new Environmental Impact Study in the next few weeks.

The project includes two new bridges as well as a re-worked spaghetti junction.

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