River Fields says it's not to blame for bridge traffic problems - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

River Fields says it's not to blame for bridge traffic problems

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Lee Cory Lee Cory
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
The proposed East End bridge The proposed East End bridge
Sketch of the proposed new downtown Ohio River bridge Sketch of the proposed new downtown Ohio River bridge

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Some drivers are fuming that there aren't more options to get across the Ohio River.

At the widening project in Clark County at I-65 and I-265, there a clear message on one of the construction trucks: "Build the bridges."

Others of you have been telling us on Facebook who you blame. Michael writes: "KY officials should tell the people in River Fields that construction on the east end begins in the 30 days. Get over it."

The environmental group River Fields has been battling plans for an East End bridge for years.

Tuesday, WAVE 3 asked the board president about the opinion of some that -- if not for River Fields -- the traffic snarl wouldn't be quite so bad.

"Not true," said Lee Cory, "and I'd also like to say that we have over 2200 members who live on both sides of the river and work on both sides of the river so we're all sitting in the same traffic."

Cory says River Fields has heard from plenty of people over the last few days. "Every range that you can possibly imagine of opinions," she said. "We've gotten a lot of support."

She says if you want to blame someone for your traffic troubles, blame people who want to build an East End bridge first.

"River Fields has always been in favor of a downtown bridge," Cory said. "We continue to be in favor of a downtown bridge. I think the closing of a Sherman Minton Bridge highlights our very, very important need for another downtown bridge."

Tuesday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told WAVE 3 that he thinks the shut down of the Sherman Minton will push forward construction of both bridges.

"People are saying, 'What if we had an East End bridge or a downtown bridge,'" Fischer said. "The vast majority of the public is for these bridges already so this will just accelerate that, I believe."

Cory says River Fields is not standing in the way.

"There is no injunction associated with the River Fields appeal, that means that no one's hands are tied," she said.

River Fields is in ongoing mediation in that appeal for its suit in which it joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation but Cory says that's not stopping anyone from finding a funding plan for the bridges project.

Cory adds the group wants the downtown bridge built first. After that, if there's still a need for an east end bridge - despite the perception the group is against it - Cory said River Fields will not stand in the way.

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