Senators try to change state law to limit tolls

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The bridges issue spanned to Frankfort as two Jefferson County senators filed a bill that would change state law. WAVE 3 was the first to speak with Sen. Perry Clark about the bill he filed with Sen. Tim Shaughnessy known as "Keeping Kentucky's Freeways Free."

"This has been controversial since the 1960s and it's time to start resolving some of it," said Clark of tolls and the bridges project.

This bill would make it illegal to toll existing roadways for new projects. That means the Sherman-Minton Bridge could not be tolled to pay for the new east end and downtown bridges. The federal government is reviewing this question as well and has yet to rule on it.

The Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority has moved a financial plan forward that includes tolls.

The Ohio River Bridges Project, however, isn't as cut and dry. The Kennedy Bridge currently carries traffic both ways. It will turn into a one-way bridge and the new downtown bridge will have the traffic going the other way. Clark said he doesn't know if the new side could be tolled, but not the old side.

"I'm not certain how that would actually work, if you do some alterations to that bridge," said Clark. "I'm sure my legislation and Sen. Shaughnessy's legislation isn't drawn succinctly enough to address repairs and the expansion of a current bridge... I'm sure we'll have some discussion on that."

Clark said the bill is flexible and could be added to in committee.

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