No2BridgeTolls responds to massive bridge plan reduction

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - - an organization formed to protest proposed tolls to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project - recognizes Governors Daniels and Beshear, and Mayor Fischer for their eagerness to make the Ohio River Bridges Project friendlier to the community it will serve.

"We are very pleased with these new reductions, and would like to thank all of our supporters that helped make this happen. This is the second move to reduce the price of the Ohio River Bridges Project in the last six months, and we may possibly be at that point where I-65 does not need to be tolled. We will continue our efforts until that is achieved." said No2bridgetolls Co-founder Paul Fetter.

"In January 2010, Ohio River Bridges Project estimated cost was $4.1 billion, which was $2.2 billion short of the $1.9 billion in available funds. The logical answer would be to reduce the project cost, but all of the state officials, the Ohio River Bridges Project design team, and the Bi-State Authority said, 'The project cannot be changed because the Record of Decision and the Environmental Impact Study' and consequently tolling was put on the table to fund the shortfall. We now know the project can be changed and believe financing without tolls is possible.

"The project was originally designed far beyond its capacity to deliver traffic due to lane limitations on all of the interstates that connect to it. We want it built in a financially responsible manner, community friendly, without tolls on our existing transportation routes. Many of these changes are what we've been asking for and are a great improvement to the over-designed project they started with," added Fetter.

"Our group formed because tolling our existing infrastructure and transportation routes would divide our river city, and would be bad for families and businesses," said co-founder Wes Johnson.

Since its formation in September of 2010, the organization has collected over 10,000 signatures on petitions against tolling and polled Kentuckian residents and determined that over 85% are against tolling I-65. The group has also secured city and township anti-toll resolutions from Jeffersonville, New Albany, Clarksville, Utica, Sellersburg, Georgetown, Louisville, Clark County Council, Clark County Commissioners, Jeffersonville Main Street Association, and the Southern Indiana Tourism Bureau; and collected statements from both Southern Indiana mayors: Tom Gallagan, Mayor of Jeffersonville, and Doug England, Mayor of New Albany opposing tolling of I-65.

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