FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Kentucky and Indiana have reached consensus on a plan to finance and build the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville, keeping the project on target to begin construction in 2012.
Under an agreement in principle reached by Beshear, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and leaders of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, each state would take the lead in financing and overseeing construction of one half of the project.
Kentucky would be responsible for financing and constructing the downtown portion of the project – a new I-65 bridge, a re-decked Kennedy Bridge, modernization of the Kennedy Interchang and expansion of the I-65 approach in Indiana.
Indiana would be responsible for financing and constructing the East End portion of the project – a new bridge near Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky.; a new highway linking the Lee Hamilton Expressway and Gene Snyder Freeway; and a tunnel in Eastern Jefferson County.
The Bridges Authority would help coordinate, monitor and ensure an interface between the two procurements, which would continue to be carried out as one project under a single financial plan.
The estimated price tag for each half – the downtown and East End – is virtually the same, $1.3 billion.
Both states plan to use a combination of traditional transportation funds and tolls on the new and improved crossings to pay for construction and financing of the project.
The Bridges Authority will incorporate the relevant cost, funding and revenue components into its financial plan for the project, which is expected to be completed soon on the basis of the agreement announced Thursday.
–Herald-Leader Frankfort Bureau
Filed Under: Steve Beshear