As the Ohio River Bridges Project moves forward, it’s becoming a larger issue in the Louisville mayor’s race.
The Bridges Authority is now figuring out how to pay for the project. Three candidates for mayor have spoken against high tolls on new bridges and any tolls on Spaghetti Junction. And, a recent poll showed the majority of Louisvillians opposed to two new bridges.
Republican Hal Heiner says that means the downtown bridge and Spaghetti Junction may need to be delayed or reconfigured to keep costs down and satisfy the public.
“It’s important to know how the citizens feel about projects and also to understand how that project would affect our economy and economic development,” he says. “Our bridges are important for economic development, but on the other hand, if tolls are two high, we effectively cut our economic region in half.”
Democratic candidate Greg Fischer says any discussion of changing the project should come after a financing plan is proposed.
“We’ll know a lot more when they come out with their funding plans here in November, December,” says Fischer. “They’re exploring all options, but some of the options are not acceptable to the community, and I think that’s what you’re hearing, including from me.”
Independent candidate Jackie Green says the poll is proof the plan should be scrapped.
“That project is on the ropes,” he says. “We need to acknowledge that the project is on the ropes and turn our vision away from the bridges project and toward public transit.”