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Kentucky Transportation Project Competes to be Named Best in America

Online voting for Top 12 underway through September 21; vote daily 

Aug. 23, 2017 – The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Crossing in Louisville has been recognized as one of the best transportation projects in America and is in the running to capture the top prize. Kentucky is competing with 11 other states to have a Commonwealth transportation project named Best in America in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards competition. 

“We’re excited about the high level of participation in this year’s competition,” said American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Executive Director Bud Wright. “Projects being constructed across the country are making communities safer, healthier and more prosperous, so the big winners are the American people.” 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) earned a regional award, with the Downtown Crossing named the winner for “Operations Excellence – Large Project.” The award recognized a transportation project that demonstrated successful strategies and actions that reduced congestion, improved reliability or advanced transportation operations. The three highest scoring projects in four regional contests became the competition’s Top 12 and are now competing for a national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. 

The Grand Prize will be determined by an independent panel of transportation industry experts. The People’s Choice Award will be selected through online voting by the general public. Online voting is underway and continues through midnight (ET) on Thursday, Sept. 21: http://americastransportationawards.org/. Individuals can vote once a day per device, so the use of multiple devices (e.g., personal computer, smart phone, tablet) to cast votes each day is encouraged. 

The Downtown Crossing, a nearly $1.3 billion project, marked substantial completion in November 2016. It 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 transformative project provides improved safety and cross-river mobility between Louisville and Southern Indiana that had been needed for decades. KYTC, along with Walsh Construction and many strong partners, delivered the Downtown Crossing project on budget and ahead of schedule, providing a safer, faster and more reliable transportation system for the region. 

The Indiana Department of Transportation is also included in the Top 12, with the East End Crossing named the regional winner for Quality of Life/Community Development. The $2.3 billion Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project was completed in late 2016, with Kentucky overseeing work on the Downtown Crossing and Indiana overseeing the East End Crossing. 

Now celebrating its tenth year, the America’s Transportation Awards competition was created by AASHTO with the support of AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

The Grand Prize winner and the People’s Choice Award both include a $10,000 cash prize to support a transportation-related scholarship or charitable cause. 

If KYTC wins either award, the money will be donated to the Kentucky Employee Charitable Campaign (KECC). State employees raise money for the campaign each year, with the donations going to a combination of several charities, including the American Cancer Society, Christian Appalachian Project, Community Health Charities of Kentucky, Kosair Charities, Kentucky March of Dimes, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, United Way of Kentucky and the WHAS Crusade for Children. 

Additional information on the Ohio River Bridges Project is available at www.kyinbridges.com

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RiverLink Step-By-Step How-To Guide Now Available

Customers can find step-by-step help at RiverLink.com

Aug. 18, 2017It’s now easier for RiverLink customers and drivers who have crossed tolled bridges to get the help they may need. A step-by-step how-to guide has been added to the RiverLink website, www.RiverLink.com.

Drivers will find directions for everything from setting up a RiverLink account to adding auto-replenishment to their account to paying an invoice. The guide offers step-by-step directions and highlighted images from the website to walk drivers through the desired action.

The guide will also help drivers who already have a RiverLink account with the day-to-day management of their accounts. Topics include how to update vehicle information, add money to the account, get a new transponder, file a toll dispute and change to paperless statements.

Drivers without RiverLink accounts who have crossed tolled bridges will be able to use the help guide for such things as paying an invoice, verifying an invoice has been paid and filing a toll dispute.

Drivers can easily access the help guide on the RiverLink website:

  1. Go to RiverLink.com.
  2. Click on the blue “Help” button at the top of the page.
  3. Click on Step-by-Step How-To Guide.
  4. Click on the topic of choice for step-by-step instructions.

The RiverLink How-To Guide is the latest addition designed to improve the customer experience. Other recent improvements include the addition of more customer service representatives, the start of an automated payment option and the availability of RiverLink starter kits at several retail locations.

Call Response Times

Recent improvements have led to much shorter hold times for customers. The average time to answer a call to RiverLink customer service was less than a minute in both June and July.

The how-to guide is an added resource to help drivers efficiently manage their RiverLink transactions online. Customers can continue to visit one of two RiverLink customer service centers or call RiverLink customer service (855-RIV-LINK) to get the assistance they need.

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Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently-asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.

Find more details on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

Downtown Crossing Earns Transportation Award

Wins America’s Transportation Award for Operations Excellence

Aug. 15, 2017The 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.

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Find more details on the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

Downtown Crossing: Ramp Closure

Aug. 9, 2017A short-term ramp closure is planned to allow crews with Walsh Construction to perform needed work on the ramp. The ramp from Story Avenue to I-65 North and I-65 South is scheduled to close Thursday morning, after morning drive. It’s expected to reopen Friday afternoon, before afternoon drive.

The ramp is expected to close around 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 10 and reopen by 3 p.m. on Friday, August 11.

Signed detours are in place during full closures. The actual starting date and duration for the work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen activities occur. Find more information about the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

Navigate traffic with KYTC, www.511.ky.gov, and Waze, www.waze.com.

 

RiverLink Transponders Available at Thorntons Locations

Reloadable transponders available at convenient locations in Louisville and Jeffersonville

Aug. 9, 2017 – Drivers have another option for purchasing RiverLink transponders. RiverLink starter kits are now sold at all Thorntons locations in Louisville and Jeffersonville.

The starter kit includes a RiverLink prepaid transponder that can be used on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana, a reload card and a RiverLink customer agreement.

Drivers do not need to register their transponder or their car to use the prepaid transponder. They simply need to purchase the kit and activate it at the store register. The RiverLink starter kit can be found with other prepaid cards and gift cards in Thorntons.

Using a RiverLink Starter Kit

Purchasing and using a RiverLink starter kit is easy:

  1. Load $20 to $500 on the prepaid transponder at checkout. There is a one-time $3.00 activation fee.
  2. Place the RiverLink transponder on the inside of the car windshield, as instructed.
  3. The RiverLink prepaid transponder is ready to use on any of the three Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River tolled bridges.
  4. Keep the RiverLink reload card and use it to add funds to your RiverLink transponder at participating retailers. The minimum amount to reload a prepaid transponder is $20. There is a $1.50 reloading fee every time money is added to the transponder.

A positive account balance is required to pay the lowest toll rates. If the prepaid RiverLink transponder reaches a zero balance, drivers will pay higher toll rates, and receive an invoice in the mail.

Money can only be added to a prepaid transponder by using the reload card at participating Thorntons and other participating retailers.

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Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.  Find more details on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

About Thorntons® Founded by James Thornton in 1971, the company has been recognized as one of the top independent convenience store chains in the nation. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Thorntons currently operates 190 stores that provide fresh foods, high quality beverages and fuel in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. Thorntons’ mission is not only to provide top of the line food and beverages, but makes giving back a top priority in every market. Learn more about Thorntons by visiting www.thorntonsinc.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thorntonsinc and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thorntonsinc.

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