31 August 2012
The US$2.6 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project is now officially under way, following a groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday for the scheme’s first contract.
The governors of the US states of Indiana and Kentucky joined Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and other officials at the event to break ground on a relatively small contract that marks the first construction phase of the major project. Gohmann Asphalt & Construction was awarded a US$3.2 million design and build contract earlier this month for a 900m extension of Old Salem Road. When the East End Crossing opens to traffic in 2017, Old Salem Road will be the first exit on the Indiana side of the river.
“Decades of waiting for greater convenience and quality of life in the metro area will soon be over, but that’s only part of what’s ahead: Southern Indiana has tremendous economic prospects, and these new bridges are the key to making them real,” said Indiana governor Mitch Daniels.
“We have reached this milestone because we worked together – across state lines and party lines and bottom lines – to do the right thing for the citizens of Kentucky and Indiana,” Kentuck governor Steve Beshear said. “As a result, we will keep the traffic flowing and our region growing with new jobs, new businesses and new opportunities.”
The bridges project involves construction of new bridges across the Ohio River between downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville in Indiana and between Prospect in Kentucky and Utica, Indiana. In addition, the project will improve the Kennedy Interchange, where Interstates 64, 65 and 71 meet in downtown Louisville, and the existing Kennedy Bridge that carries I-65 traffic.