Ohio River bridges finance plan expected next week

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The battle is on for contractors who want to help drivers cross over the Ohio River.  Hundreds of people are in town to learn more about what will be one of the largest projects in the country according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock.  Gov. Steve Beshear said he and Gov. Mitch Daniels hope to announce a financial plan by the beginning of next week.

Representatives from more than 300 United States and Canadian companies were at the Convention Center to learn more about the project.

"We love to have local folks heavily involved in any projects of any magnitude in Kentucky," said Hancock. "This is a very large scale project, one of the largest in America, so from our perspective, we want the best team."

Mayor Greg Fischer told bidders they have a chance to do something good for Kentuckiana. Local Union members listened to the speeches and were hard to miss in their orange shirts.

"Send this message: we're ready to go to work," said Larry Hujo of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.

Kentucky is responsible for fixing Spaghetti Junction and a new downtown bridge that will split traffic on Interstate 65.  Each bridge will carry traffic in one direction.  

Beshear agrees the closing of the Sherman Minton and stress on the other remaining bridges is bringing attention to the project.

"I think it heightened everybody's awareness of just how important it is for us to move forward and get this Ohio River Bridges project," said Beshear.

Indiana is in charge of the East End Bridge.  Bidders will learn more about that on Friday.

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