Funding discussion for new bridges underway

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Bridges Authority says it's on track to get construction underway at the end of the year. First they have to get the financial plan together. Right now they say they are in the discussion phase of that and say it will be about 6 months before we know specifics.

Last week they announced Kentucky and Indiana has come to an agreement that Indiana will cover the cost of the east end bridge and Kentucky will take on the work downtown. Some of the things Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet Secretary says they are focusing on right now are the speed of construction, increasing competition among bidders, how to lower the cost and determining acceptable tolling.

The Authority is also trying to get some help from the federal government to ease the burden on the states. They say they are once again applying for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act grant, or TIFIA, which they have been passed over for in the past.

"The project will go forward with or without TIFIA," says Authority Co-Chair Kerry Stemler. "It just is a tool loan low interest loan that makes it easier."

Another hurdle needs to be cleared before construction starts is the environmental impact study. They are still taking public comment for that through next week.

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