Governors sign off on funding for new bridges between Louisville and Indiana
03/06/2012 05:47 AM
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels officially signed off on the agreement for each state to pay for and construct one of the two proposed new bridges between Louisville and Indiana.
With their signatures on the memorandum of understanding, construction of the bridges can begin this year and is expected to be completed within six years at a cost of $2.6 billion.
The states will each spend transportation funds to help pay for their portion of the project. Kentucky has pledged $536 million and Indiana has committed $432 million to finance the bridges.
The Kentucky General Assembly still needs to approve about $50 million dollars of funding as part of the two-year budget it is working on. But Beshear said he was confident legislators understood the need for the funding.
Tolls will be used to close the financing gap and will be collected on the new East End bridge, new downtown I-65 bridge and reconfigured Kennedy bridge. The states will share all tolling revenues and expenses in a 50/50 split.
Governor Steve Beshear said the only way to complete this project is with the use of tolling revenue.
Toll rates for frequent commuters in cars, trucks, and SUVs using transponder devices would be in the range of $1 per crossing. Toll rates for other cars, trucks, and SUVs would be in the $2 range; panel trucks in the $5 range; and tractor trailers in the $10 range according to a press release.
The tolls would not start being collected until the first new bridge is completed around 2017 or 2018.
The states will continue to pursue federal funding opportunities, including the next round of federal grants.
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