Mayor hopes ideas will help shrink bridges' cost

02/15/2011 07:24 PM

Louisville’s mayor said he’s hoping ideas suggested by construction firms could help shave tens of millions of dollars more off the cost of the two proposed bridges between Kentucky and Indiana.

Contractors will descend upon Louisville Wednesday and Thursday for a forum about the bridges aimed at soliciting innovative construction and cost-saving techniques.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Pure Politics that he hoped the ideas could cut as much as $100 million or $200 million off the project, which is estimated at $3.6 billion. That includes a new downtown bridge, one on Louisville’s East End and a reconstructed Spaghetti Junction.

That cost dropped by $500 million after Fischer, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear met in December and agreed to scale back the scope.

“What I’ve been hearing is: ‘This project costs too much.’ And people felt that it was not right to pay tolls on existing infrastructure,” Fischer said.

Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority is now charged with developing a tolling plan that wouldn’t allow tolls on existing bridges and would allow the authority to set different toll levels for commuters and travelers.

Fischer, Daniels and Beshear will speak at the opening of Wednesday’s session at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.


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