Ohio River Bridges Project construction on time, tolling still t - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Ohio River Bridges Project construction on time, tolling still to be ironed out

More than one year into construction on the Ohio River Bridges Project, transportation officials say they are on track. (Source: WAVE 3 News) More than one year into construction on the Ohio River Bridges Project, transportation officials say they are on track. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Bruce Corwin (Source: WAVE 3 News) Bruce Corwin (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Nancy Kloiber (Source: WAVE 3 News) Nancy Kloiber (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Paul Boone (Source: WAVE 3 News) Paul Boone (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kendra York (Source: WAVE 3 News) Kendra York (Source: WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – More than one year into construction on the Ohio River Bridges Project, transportation officials say they are on track. While there are still many questions about tolls and traffic changes, different meetings are held frequently to keep the community in the loop.

“This is something that not only affects local business, but the residents in the community as well, so I think that's why it is getting a lot more interest today,” said Bruce Corwin, with Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce.

[MORE: Building the Bridges]

The Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce focused their August meeting on the East End Bridge.

Nancy Kloiber, the General Manager of Two Men and a Truck on Chamberlain Lane, says the construction can be tough.

“We're definitely looking forward to it being done,” said Kloiber. “Our travel times have increased significantly, so that directly impacts our bottom line.”

The East End Crossing is expected to be complete by Halloween of 2016 and the constant blasting paying off.

“The tunnels are each 1,680 feet long and the southbound tunnel, we're approximately 1,580 in and the northbound tunnel trails by about a hundred feet,” said INDOT project manager Paul Boone. 

The Downtown Crossing project is running on time to be open to drivers in April of 2016. When completed it will be a cable-stayed bridge with three sets of twin towers. You've probably noticed the towers positioned in the Ohio River. By the end of the year, you will see the steel and cables start to go up.

The next phase of traffic changes will impact Interstate 65 in Jeffersonville. From the bridge to Stansifer Avenue in both directions lanes will be reduced from three lanes to two. These changes will be in place for well over a year.

“As we get closer to it, we want to give drivers plenty of time to understand what the impacts are going to be, what the changes are going to and they know have this lead up to start considering their options,” said KYTC project manager Andy Barber. 

Tolls remain a hot button issue. Business leaders along the Ohio River are urging a delay in collecting tolls until the project is complete in late 2016. This would mean the Downtown Crossing would be toll-free for more than six months.

Concerns were expressed from leaders of One Southern Indiana in a letter sent to the Indiana Finance Authority. In 2013, initial toll rates were approved ranging from $1 to $12 depending on what you're driving and how often you're crossing.

“Payments cannot be changed, but we are looking at all the issues that were raised in the letter and considering them,” said Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York. The Indiana Finance Authority says it must be decided soon when tolls will be collected.

If you are interested in the keeping up with the Ohio River Bridges Project, click here

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