Kentucky and Indiana officials announced last week that they reached consensus on a basic plan to finance and build the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.
Each state will finance about $1.3 billion of the cost, and oversee construction contracts for one half of the project under an agreement reached by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and the bi-state Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority.
Kentucky will be responsible for building a new Interstate 65 bridge, putting new decking on the existing Kennedy Bridge, and upgrading the Louisville interchange known as “spaghetti junction,” where I-64, I-65 and I-71 converge.
Indiana will build the East End portion of the project, which includes a new bridge, a new highway link between the Lee Hamilton Expressway and Gene Snyder Freeway, and a tunnel in eastern Jefferson County.
The authority will help coordinate and monitor the construction procurements of each state, and ensure that the overall project is carried out under a single financial plan, state officials said.
The agreement to split up the projects came about because the two states had different views about contracting methods. Both plan to use a combination of traditional transportation funds and tolls to pay for construction of their projects.
The authority was expected to meet Thursday to continue work on cost, funding, and revenue components of the financial plan, which is expected to be completed soon.
Officials said the agreement would keep the project on target to begin construction later this year.