EVANSVILLE, Ind. — More public comments are needed as the team leading the I-69 Ohio River Crossing Project looks to answer more questions about the project.
Last month the team narrowed the possible options for a new bridge connecting I-69 to northern Kentucky to two options, both of which would see a brand new interstate bridge built over the Ohio River.
“There is one difference between the two,” said project spokeswoman Mindy Peterson. “That is how they are going to be tolled.”
Peterson said they need to figure out how the construction project will be paid for. She said some of the cost will be covered by tolling but the rest of the money needs to come from somewhere else. Both Indiana and Kentucky are helping pay for it but not everything is covered just yet.
“It’s a nearly one and a half billion dollar project,” Peterson said. “Tolling will only cover a fraction of that.”
With the first option, called “Alternative 1A”, a new interstate bridge would be build to the east of the current U.S. 41 twin bridges. The new bridge would be tolled along with the twin bridges being tolled as well.
The second option, “Alternative 1B”, is essentially the same. The difference is only the new interstate bridge would be tolled with the twin bridges left as they are.
“If you look at 1A, tolling is only going to cover about 40-percent of the capital cost of the project,” Peterson explained. “If you look at 1B, we’d only have about 20-percent covered. There is a big funding gap under either scenario and that funding has to be covered by the states’ traditional funding sources or by grants.”
Peterson adds most of the feedback on either scenario has come from residents in the immediate area in and around Evansville. She said even Hoosiers outside that area will use the cross and should have their voices heard has well.
If you curious about the project or want to leave a public comment you can visit the project’s website at www.i69ohiorivercrossing.com.
(PHOTO: Courtesy of I-69 Ohio River Crossing Project)