Wins America’s Transportation Award for Operations Excellence
Aug. 15, 2017 – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has earned a regional award in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards competition. The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Crossing is the winner in “Operations Excellence – Large Project” category.
The award recognizes a transportation project that demonstrates successful strategies and actions that reduce congestion, improve reliability or advance transportation operations.
The Downtown Crossing, a nearly $1.3 billion project, was finished on budget and ahead of schedule, providing a more reliable transportation system for the region. The Downtown Crossing includes the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, an overhauled John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge and improved interstate connections on both sides of the river. More than 50 miles of new roadway and more than 60 overpasses and bridges were built in connection with the Downtown Crossing. The project marked substantial completion in November 2016.
“We’re appreciative of the recognition for the Downtown Crossing, especially for the many men and women who helped build it,” said Andy Barber, deputy state highway engineer and former KYTC project manager. “Since substantial completion late last year, we’ve seen the positive impact this project is having on our region. In addition to seeing new development and new opportunities, drivers are enjoying safer and faster commutes.”
The most significant work with the Downtown Crossing involved reconfiguring and rebuilding the interchanges of I-64, I-65 and I-71. Tight curves were removed, short merges were eliminated and full shoulders were added throughout the project area, including on the Kennedy and Lincoln bridges.
Louisville Chief of Public Services Doug Hamilton offered a letter of support for the Downtown Crossing. He wrote, “Anyone who has ever lived and worked in Louisville knows that improving this critical junction is a direct, positive contribution to the daily life of thousands of people who work downtown. It also makes passing through our city a safer, more efficient experience – which is important for a region that is internationally known as a logistics hub.”
A study prepared for the Indiana Finance Authority found the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project would have an economic impact of $87 billion and support 15,000 new jobs over the next 30 years.
Now celebrating its tenth year, the America’s Transportation Awards competition was created by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) with the support of AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented today at the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) Annual Meeting, held in Norfolk, Virginia.
As a regional winner, the Downtown Crossing will next be considered for inclusion in the competition’s “Top Twelve” projects. These projects will then compete for the top two prizes. The Grand Prize winner is selected by a panel of judges, and the People’s Choice Award is chosen online by the voting public. Both prizes carry a $10,000 cash prize to support a transportation-related scholarship or charitable cause.
Find more details on the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.