Monday August 17, 2009
Group will work with Indiana group to accelerate construction
Gov. Steve Beshear and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson today appointed a five-member delegation that will help forge a bi-state partnership with Indiana to accelerate construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project -- two new bridges in Louisville to link the two states and the rebuilding of Spaghetti Junction.
The members of the Kentucky negotiating team will include:
· Mike Hancock, Interim Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
· Lori Hudson Flanery, Deputy Secretary, Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet
· David Nicklies, President and CEO, Nicklies Development Corp., a Louisville-based real estate development company serving communities in Kentucky and Indiana
· Joe Reagan, President and CEO, Greater Louisville Inc., the metro Chamber of Commerce
· Ben Richmond, President and CEO, Louisville Urban League
“This group of dedicated public servants and community leaders has the experience and expertise to help us move this important project forward,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s essential to the economic future of this region and our two states that we provide safe, modern interstate connections across the Ohio River.”
“Before we can build bridges of concrete and steel, we must build bridges of cooperation and creativity with our neighbors in Indiana,” Abramson said. “The Governor and I are confident this team of individuals will help us take that important step to pull our states and communities together.”
The 2009 Kentucky General Assembly authorized the creation of a negotiating team as the first step toward a bi-state authority that will oversee financing and construction of the project. Under state law, the Louisville Metro Council initiated the process by passing a resolution last month asking the governor and mayor to appoint the negotiating team.
Kentucky’s negotiating team will work with a similar group from Indiana over the next few months to develop the framework for a bi-state authority. The agreement must be approved by a soon-to-be-created state transportation infrastructure authority and ratified by the Kentucky General Assembly.
Once the bi-state agreement is developed, Governor Beshear and Mayor Abramson will appoint a seven-member bi-state authority, which will develop a financing plan that will be subject to approval by the state transportation infrastructure authority.