Project History

Project Management Plan

A Project Management Plan, which FHWA requires for “major projects” such as the Bridges Project, defines the structure and processes that will ensure control of the scope, budget, schedule and quality of the project. It also outlines approaches to contract management, reporting, quality assurance, safety, traffic management, communications and other essential project elements. The Bridges Project’s Management Plan was approved in August 2012.

Tolling Agreement

A Tolling Agreement among the FHWA and the states’ transportation agencies and financing agencies, which authorizes tolling and outlines certain requirements that Kentucky and Indiana will need to meet in using tolls to help pay for the new and improved river crossings. The Bridges Project’s Tolling Agreement was approved in August 2012.

Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project was approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation on April 20, 2012. The effort was launched as a result of significant cost-saving proposals, as well as plans to utilize tolling to help meet revenue shortfalls. The cost-saving proposals approved in the SFEIS include:

  • Reconstructing the Kennedy Interchange in its current location
  • Removing the pedestrian/bicycle lane from the Downtown Bridge
  • Reducing the lanes on the East End portion of the project
  • Eliminating flyover ramps plus other design changes on the Indiana interstate approach to the newly expanded I-65 bridges

The Record of Decision

In June 2012, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a revised Record of Decision (ROD) approving the construction of two new Ohio River bridges linking Louisville and Southern Indiana, and reconstructing the Kennedy Interchange (Spaghetti Junction) where I-65, I-71 and I-64 converge near downtown Louisville. The original ROD was approved in 2003.

The ROD is the final step in the Project’s environmental review process. It represents FHWA’s final decision about where and what to build, based upon recommendations from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Several alternatives were studied to improve cross-river mobility. The option selected addresses transportation needs with the least amount of impact to the region’s environmental resources and communities.

The Selected Alternative

  • Downtown Bridge: Immediately east of the Kennedy Bridge
  • East End Bridge: Connecting the Gene Snyder Freeway (KY 841) to the Lee Hamilton Highway (IN 265)
  • Kennedy Interchange (Spaghetti Junction): Rebuild to the south

The Environmental Review

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published in Nov. 2001 analyzing nine specific bridge locations in one- and two-bridge combinations. Public hearings were held in Indiana and Kentucky, and more than 5,000 comments were received on the DEIS.

A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was issued in April 2003. This document identified the preferred alternative, responded to comments on the DEIS and included a plan to minimize impacts to historic properties and other resources. The commitments are legally binding. They were developed in consultation with community representatives who will stay involved and monitor work to help ensure commitments are fulfilled.



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