Economic Growth and Innovation Newsroom
Work Starts on the East End Ohio River Bridge
Thursday May 30, 2013
Governor Mike Pence, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today joined WVB East End Partners and state and local officials to mark the long-awaited start of construction on the East End Crossing of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project.
On a bluff overlooking where the future East End Bridge will cross the Ohio River into Kentucky, Governor Pence checked off another item on a task list that ends with the East End Crossing opening to traffic in 2016.
Following an efficient eight-month procurement process, WVB East End Partners – a team of Walsh Investors LLC, VINCI Concessions and Bilfinger Project Investments – was selected for its innovative proposal to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the East End Crossing, which will connect State Road 265 in Indiana with the Gene Snyder Freeway in Kentucky, completing a loop around the Louisville/Southern Indiana metropolitan area. The proposal included a construction cost of $763 million, which was $224 million or 23 percent less than the project estimate of $987 million.
“This is a milestone moment, following 40 years of debate and discussion, to finally get work going on this first of two bridges that will help ease congestion and facilitate business and job growth throughout the Louisville area and region,” Fischer said. “These bridges can’t come soon enough for our commuters and businesspeople.”
Although site preparation and pre-construction activities have been underway for months, WVB will begin construction activities next week. Through the end of June, traffic pattern changes and excavation will ramp up along Kentucky 841 and U.S. 42. More visible construction activity in Indiana will begin later this summer.
The East End Crossing is part of the Ohio River Bridges Project, which also includes a new bridge between downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind., and a redesign of the Kennedy Interchange, where Interstates 64, 65 and 71 meet in downtown Louisville.
The Bridges Project will improve cross-river mobility and increase safety in one of the nation’s most congested and important highway corridors. In the process, it will create thousands of jobs, both in short-term construction and in long-term economic development.