Ohio River Bridges Project

In Sept. 2003, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) officially approving the construction of two new Ohio River bridges linking Louisville and Southern Indiana, and reconstructing the Kennedy Interchange (Spaghetti Junction) where I-65, I-71 and I-64 converge near downtown Louisville.

Photo Courtesy of the Ohio River Bridges Project Team

Photo Courtesy of the Ohio River Bridges Project Team

The most recent financial plan has the project estimated at $4.1 billion, which takes into account inflation. Based on this estimate, Kentucky’s cost is $2.92 billion (?70%), while Indiana’s is $1.15 billion (?30%). The recently appointed Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority is working to update the financial plan.

The footprint of the Ohio River Bridges Project crosses nearly 300 privately or commercially owned pieces of land. In some cases only part of a property will be acquired, in others the entire property will be taken. Not all land will be purchased before construction begins because construction occurs in phases. Property acquisition may also be limited by the states’ budgets.

Right-of-way plans are subject to change. Current plans call for the following:

  • Kennedy Interchange (Spaghetti Junction)
    This section contains approximately 105 parcels: 1 residential and 30 business relocations
  • Downtown Indiana Approach
    The exact number of land parcels in this section will be determined as plan development proceeds
  • East End Kentucky Approach
    This section includes approximately 95 residential properties, 38 of which will require relocation. The other 57 require partial land acquisition.
  • East End Indiana Approach
    15-20 residential and 2 business relocations are included in the preliminary estimates

There is an upcoming public information meeting; the details are as follows:

Date:  December 13, 2010
Time:  4-7 p.m.
Location: Muhammad Ali Center
View Pointe Hall, 6th floor
One Muhammad Ali Plaza
144 N. Sixth Street
Louisville, KY 40202

The project is still in the planning phases and largely unfunded.  The Bridges Authority Finance Committee recently suggested a $1 toll on new and existing bridges in Louisville to help pay for the $4 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.  Committee Chairman Kerry Stemler said on Thursday, “I would like to identify a targeted, frequent toll rate for our community.  So the frequent users know what the targeted rate for the toll of the Ohio River Bridges Project would be.”

The states of Indiana and Kentucky have the authority to use eminent domain to acquire property for this project.  If your property lies within the project footprint, you will be approached by either the States of Indiana or Kentucky about the purchase of your property or portions of your property.  Make sure you know about your rights in the eminent domain process.  Learn more about Indiana Eminent Domain Law and Kentucky Eminent Domain Law.

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