Kentuckiana bridges project moving forward - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Kentuckiana bridges project moving forward

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The animated plan for the bridges. The animated plan for the bridges.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Leaders with the Kentuckiana bridges project went before Louisville Metro Council Thursday.

"This is a big ticket project for this community," said member Cheri Bryant Hamilton.

It's taken several years - and several proposals like this one - to get the ball rolling on how many lanes, how many bridges, and where to put them all.

"It's a huge project. Just the downtown crossing alone is ten times larger than KYTC has ever led before," said Andy Barber with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

KYTC has partnered with Indiana, with the Federal government sounding off on the plans and time is ticking.

"Construction for the downtown bridge will begin in July of 2013 -- this summer. Construction will be done by December of 2016," Barber said.

That means about three years to build the east end and downtown bridge.

But there's a lawsuit that's still playing out in court that could impact both bridges.

"We really can't comment on that since that's ongoing litigation. All the participants are well aware of it and that hasn't changed our schedule at all," Ron Heustis with the Indiana Department of Transportation said.

Rates are still up in the air as the states come up with a board to oversee the tolls.

"They are still in that discussion of setting up the board let alone determining a toll policy," Heustis said.

Officials said Thursday during the Metro Council meeting that The Kennedy Bridge, the new downtown bridge, and the new east end bridge would be toll bridges. The current 2nd Street bridge and Sherman Minton bridge would not be toll bridges.

The federal government requires public input sessions about the bridge tolls, but so far officials have not set any dates for those meetings.

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