Beshear Says KY & IN Reached A “Consensus”

Steve Beshear’s office released the following bit about the Ohio River Bridges Debacle:

LOUISVILLE (Dec. 29, 2011) –Kentucky and Indiana have reached consensus on a basic plan to finance and build the Ohio River Bridges Project, keeping the project on target to begin construction in 2012.

Under an agreement in principle reached by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and leaders of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, each state would take the lead in financing and overseeing construction of one half of the project, among the largest transportation projects in the United States.

Kentucky would be responsible for financing and constructing the downtown portion of the project – a new I-65 bridge, a re-decked Kennedy Bridge, modernization of the Kennedy Interchange, and expansion of the I-65 approach in Indiana.

Indiana would be responsible for financing and constructing the East End portion of the project – a new bridge near Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky.; a new highway linking the Lee Hamilton Expressway and Gene Snyder Freeway; and a tunnel in Eastern Jefferson County.

The Bridges Authority would help coordinate, monitor and ensure an interface between the two procurements, which would continue to be carried out as one project under a single financial plan.

At its October meeting, the Bridges Authority reviewed and discussed six potential delivery options for the project, and then began a process of building consensus between the states on their preferred approach. Since then, the state sponsors have worked diligently, both internally and in joint discussions, to evaluate different scenarios.

In the course of these discussions, the states decided the landmark project could best be advanced through separate procurements, each of which is expected to take advantage of innovative contracting methods that can save time and money.

Cost savings now projected at $1.5 billion

A cost-savings plan outlined last January by the two governors and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has led to a further reduction in the project’s estimated construction price tag from $4.1 billion to $2.6 billion – a $1.5 billion savings. The estimated price tag for each half – the downtown and East End – is virtually the same, $1.3 billion.

Both states plan to use a combination of traditional transportation funds and tolls on the new and improved crossings to pay for construction and financing of the project.

The Bridges Authority will incorporate the relevant cost, funding and revenue components into its financial plan for the project, which is expected to be completed soon on the basis of the agreement announced today.

A more detailed update on these developments will be shared at the Bridges Authority’s upcoming quarterly meeting scheduled for next Thursday, January 5th, at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

You hear the eye rolls, right?

UPDATE — Here’s what John Yarmuth had to say:

“It is very encouraging that Kentucky and Indiana have agreed on a financing plan for the Ohio River Bridges Project,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “This appears to be fair and reasonable for both states, and splitting up the project lowers costs for everyone. With this hurdle cleared, the next major step is for the Kentucky General Assembly to approve the plan.”

10 thoughts on “Beshear Says KY & IN Reached A “Consensus”

  1. I love just about everything about you John but you are on the wrong side on this one. Let’s hope that the General Assembly says NO to this catastrophe.

  2. Funny as shit!
    River Fields is screwed! Indiana already has the money to build their portion, and they don’t necessarily give a shit about the downtown bridge and spaghetti junction. Wadda ya wanna bet the East End bridge gets going while the downtown bridge fades.
    Serves the assholes right.

  3. Oh, it will happen. They just haven’t wasted, er, I mean, wisely spent enough tax payer’s money yet studying the issue, that’s all. Gotta spread the payola around to build a consensus, don’t ‘cha know.

  4. Great news. Split the funding, and the project can be split. Given that Indiana has money for their portion and Kentucky will never have money for ours, we can hope that the right bridge will get built and we can bring our regional transportation system up to what it should have been 40 years ago. And once the East End bridge is built, it’ll become clearer than ever we don’t need another downtown bridge. Though the Sherman Minton non-disaster has already shown that.

  5. If you wonder why Daniels has agreed to pay for the East End bridge, just Google River Ridge Commerce Center River Ridge Commerce Center – The largest Industrial-Commercial development in the Midwest –  6,000 acres of property that the now owner, Clark County Government, will just about give away to any company looking to expand and employ people.   (Note:  Even in this recession they have attracted 20 new companies that have built 4.2 million sq. ft of buildings creating 4,000 new jobs.)
    So when it’s finished — just across the Ohio River from “broken neck road’ in Glenview and Nutty Yuma will be a 6000 acre industrial park — which Indiana will make millions and millions of dollars in tax money from and Kentucky will make N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
    If you wanted to know why the Kaintuckie politicos have been secretly against the East End Bridge for 50 years — you’ve got your answer.

  6. Highlander is right, you will see the Industrial Ctr in Clark County explode. And giving IN the East End bridge removes the political football from the project for KY. Indiana has no political interest in contributions from the River Fields group. INDOT will do what INDOT needs to do. Breaking up the project also means consolidating plans with the Feds. Up to now, all design issues had to go to Chicago for IN & Atlanta for KY. So. IN Hoosiers have always felt that the State never cared what happened anywhere south of Bloomington or Columbus.
    While the bridge work for IN can be initiated by the Gov. signing an executive order, KY must have it approved by the General Assembly. And even though I live in So. IN, I know that Frankfort HATES Louisville – even though Louisville supplies most of KY’s tax revenue.
    As a thank you for this blessing KY has given IN, I hope Gov. Daniels invites Gov. Beshear to the Governor’s Box at Lucas Oil Stadium to share in the Super Bowl fun.

  7. betsyhm: The East End Bridge to the River Ridge Commerce Center will be sine die and completed 5 years before the downtown bridge — because Indiana knows how to get ‘stuff’ done. Sad, but true. The tax revenue from the completed River Ridge Center will be enormous — and probably rival the tax revenue from the gambling boat.

    All while Kaintuck sits on its ass and let’s the moss grow around it.

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