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Commuters Avoiding KY's New Infrastructure

Friday, December 7, 2018

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A recent report from the Indiana Department of Transportation indicates that drivers are not using the multi-billion-dollar bridge and highway system the state developed in collaboration with Kentucky.

The 12-lane highway widening project, which included the rehabilitation of the John F. Kennedy Bridge and a build out of the new cable-stayed Abraham Lincoln Bridge (also known as the Downtown Crossing), was part of a larger move to promote critical growth in Louisville.

KY-IN Infrastructure Investment

In 2006, it was decided that the Downtown Crossing would be a three-tower, cable-stayed structure, and the East End Bridge (Lewis and Clark Bridge) would be a median-tower, cable-stayed center cable structure. The project cost $2.3 billion all told. According to The Architects Newspaper, taxpayers will be paying for the project until 2053.

Indiana Department of Transportation

The 12-lane highway widening project, which included the rehabilitation of the John F. Kennedy Bridge and a build out of the new, cable-stayed Abraham Lincoln Bridge (also known as the Downtown Crossing, pictured above), was part of a larger move to promote critical growth in Louisville.

According to INDOT, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spearheaded financing, designing and construction of the Downtown Crossing, with the contract for the work going to Walsh Construction Co. for design and construction. Project highlights included: a new I-65 bridge with six northbound lanes; reconfiguring Spaghetti Junction (also known as the Kennedy Interchange); reconfiguring Indiana roadways and the relevant approaches; and rehabilitating the Kennedy Bridge with six southbound lanes. The project was completed in 2016. (The Kennedy Bridge is a cantilever bridge that was originally opened in 1963.)

INDOT, working in collaboration with the Indiana Finance Authority, oversaw financing, design and construction of the East End Crossing (also known as the Lewis and Clark Bridge), with the contract for work going to WVB East End Partners for construction, design and financing. Project highlights included: the construction of a new East End Bridge eight miles upstream from downtown Louisville; extending Kentucky’s Snyder Freeway to the new bridge, including a 1,700-foot tunnel; and building a 4-mile new-terrain highway in Indiana, while also extending Lee Hamilton Highway to the new bridge.

Traffic Report

According to the report, released by the state of Indiana, traffic has declined 49 percent since pre-construction in 2013 to post-construction in 2018 on the Kennedy Bridge and Lincoln Bridge, which requires a $4 toll. The reduction in traffic was attributed to drivers taking other routes across the Ohio River. Traffic had also increased by 75 percent on the nearby, 90-year-old US 31 Clark Memorial Bridge, which has no toll.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

Comment from peter gibson, (12/7/2018, 10:43 AM)

So basically the toll killed the deal. Who would have thunk ! You just never know.

Comment from John Fauth, (12/7/2018, 12:28 PM)

It never ceases to amaze me that the government clowns assume the world is static and people won't modify their behavior in response to regulation and taxes. This is just the latest example of increasing taxes (in this case a toll) will result in less of that product/activity/behavior.

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