Authority of Bridges Authority being questioned - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Authority of Bridges Authority being questioned

Steve Schultz Steve Schultz
Tyler Allen Tyler Allen

By Jon Chrisos – bio | email         
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – There is more controversy centered around the Ohio River Bridges Project. On April 8, the Bi-State Bridges Authority had its first meeting since being given authority the month before to make decisions. We were there as public comments were made in opposition to the multi-billion dollar project.

Plans for the more than $4 billion project call for two new bridges between Louisville and Indiana and reconstructing the Kennedy Bridge interchange downtown. The Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority will oversee that project. The 14 members were appointed by the governors of each state.

The group has had a few meetings already, but this was the first one since it was given power by Kentucky lawmakers last month to take formal action. Now some are questioning the authority of the authority.

"The unelected authority is meeting now," said Tyler Allen, a Louisville businessman and candidate for mayor. "They are charged with figuring out how to pay for a project that is way oversized, and way, way too expensive."

Allen, who says the next mayor and Metro government need to be more involved in this massive project, is not alone in his criticism. Several people attending the meeting held signs showing opposition to tolls that are being proposed to pay for the project. Steve Schultz, executive director of the Bridges Authority, confirmed that tolls are one of the options being considered.

"Tolls have been a long standing way of paying for transportation improvement projects since when this area of the country was first settled in the 19th century," Schultz said.

The Authority promises more public meetings as this process moves forward.

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