Some concerns raised over the cost saving bridge proposal - News, Weather & Sports

Some concerns raised over the cost saving bridge proposal

Paul Fetter Paul Fetter
Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter

By Katie Bauer email | bio

UTICA, IN (WAVE) – Kentucky and Indiana's governors, along with Louisville's mayor released their plan on Tuesday to cut the Ohio River Bridges project by half a billion dollars.

"We've been fighting this thing for 40 or 30 years now, it is time to build it," said Uticia Town Council Vice President Jimmy Carter.

Carter says he has waited long enough for the eastern bridge to built, a bridge he says would benefit both sides of the river. The bridge would cross from eastern Louisville right into Utica.

"We have the Port of Indiana up here and we have Eagle's Steel and all these different companies, it would be so much quicker for them to get their products in and out of this area," said Carter.

On Tuesday Louisville Metro's Mayor Greg Fischer, and both Indiana and Kentucky Governors suggested a plan to save some costs by rebuilding Spaghetti Junction. Under their plan, the junction would stay put, instead of shifting south, and the East End Bridge would be reduced from six lanes to four.

"I am not excited about the lane reduction in Utica," said Paul Fetter with Organization for a Better Southern Indiana.

Fetter says he is pleased with the idea to cut costs, but worries about the bridge's capacity.

"I think they ought to keep the bridge on the east end at six lanes, and keep the approaches at six lanes," said Fetter.  "I know that the traffic coming up to them are only four lanes, but it is easier to expand the highway than it is to expand the bridge."

Another big issue is the talk of tolls. The leaders are pushing for the Sherman Minton and Clark Memorial Bridges to stay toll-free, but Fetter hopes the Kennedy Bridge would also escape tolls.

"They've looked at $500-million between the East End Bridge and Spaghetti Junction, why not make it another billion dollars and do it without tolls on our downtown bridges," said Fetter.

"Let's don't toll all of them, let's just toll the one we are building," said Carter.

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