U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Monday announced a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for $452 million to finance the Downtown Crossing section of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.
The cost of the Downtown Crossing, which Kentucky is funding, is roughly $1.3 billion, and it represents one half of the bi-state Ohio River Bridges project, which also includes the new East End Bridge, also spanning the Ohio River eight miles to the north. Indiana will finance the East End Crossing Project connecting Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind., which is also estimated to cost $1.3 billion.
Of the two bridges involved in the Downtown Crossing project, one bridge will be built to carry six lanes of northbound Interstate 65 traffic between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind. The John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, which today carries all I-65 traffic, will be rehabilitated and reconfigured to carry only I-65 southbound traffic on six lanes. The Kennedy Interchange, where three major highways, I-65, I-64 and I-71, come together in downtown Louisville, will also be rebuilt to improve access and eliminate design deficiencies and safety hazards.
“The Downtown Crossing project will provide better access to employment opportunities downtown, including the trade center,” Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. “It will also enhance the quality of life for area residents by improving connections to numerous area attractions.”