21 June 2012
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has cleared the way for the US$2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges project.
The environmental review was approved yesterday, enabling Kentucky and Indiana to move forward with the scheme. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
“This final step in the environmental review process allows Kentucky and Indiana to begin the process of improving safety and easing congestion for thousands of people who travel across the Ohio River every day,” said US transportation secretary Ray LaHood. “This project will put people to work and help improve our infrastructure – a win-win for these two states.”
Working together, Kentucky and Indiana will build a new I-65 bridge over the Ohio River, reconstruct the I-64/I-65/I-71 Kennedy Interchange and build a new SR-265 East End facility that includes a new bridge over the Ohio River and a tunnel connecting to the I-265 Gene Snyder Freeway.
State officials estimate the six-year project will support more than 4,000 construction, engineering and supply-related jobs.
In 2003, the FHWA approved a record of decision (ROD) calling for two new bridges and a reconfiguration of the Kennedy Interchange in Louisville.
In the years since, design changes have reduced the project’s estimated cost from US$4.1 billion to US$2.6 billion. Their modifications required a revision to the original ROD, which is what FHWA officials signed yesterday.