Phase of Ohio River Bridges Project to be Completed Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget

AASHTO Journal, 14 December 2012

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced last Friday it has accepted a bid for the Downtown Crossing portion of the Ohio River Bridges project that will move the project completion date up by more than a year and a half while also reducing its cost approximately $90 million below the $950 million budget estimate.

“We challenged the best transportation teams to deliver innovative, cost-efficient plans for the largest construction project in the history of Kentucky and Indiana,” said KYTC Secretary and AASHTO Vice President Mike Hancock in a statement. “The result of this spirited competition will be a project that will cost less and take less time to build.”

The Ohio River Bridges project, created to help relieve a major bottleneck on the Interstate 65 corridor, is one of the largest transportation construction projects in the country, estimated to create more than 4,000 construction jobs through the six-year project timeline. KYTC and Indiana Department of Transportation have been working together on the project, which connects the two states. The Downtown Crossing portion of the project, which accounts for roughly half of the entire project, includes a new Interstate 65 bridge, the reconfiguration and repair of the Kennedy Memorial Bridge, and reconstructed interchanges in downtown Louisville and Jefferson, Indiana.

Walsh Construction Co. of Chicago was awarded the bid for the Downtown Crossing portion of the project. The company’s proposal to KYTC stated it could complete the job by December 2016, which is about 19 months ahead of the original schedule. Walsh Construction also listed the construction cost to be at $860 million, which would come about $90 million below KYTC’s original estimate. The entire project is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

“We look forward to the day, which is now foreseeable, that commuters, commercial carriers, and other travelers will finally experience greater cross-river mobility through Louisville and Southern Indiana,” Hancock said.

Additional information on the Ohio River Bridges project is available at

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