Daniels wants to “downsize” East End bridge (UPDATE)

Indiana Governor Mitch “My State Doesn’t Have A Deficit Because We’ve Privatized Everything & We Hate the Poor” Daniels recently told the New Albany News & Tribune that the East End bridge component of the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project could be “downsized” for reasons that are nonsensical.

To likely lessen the amount being paid in tolls, and the overall cost of the project, Daniels said a couple of the changes would be on the Kentucky side of the project, but included the discussion of a cost-cutting measure that would reduce the number of lanes planned for the east-end bridge. The original plan for the project called for a six-lane bridge and approach — three lanes in each direction — but it could be reduced to a four-lane bridge.

No decision has been made on officially changing the project and Daniels said he is “very sensitive” to the concerns that have been brought up by the residents of Southern Indiana in relation to the bistate bridge project.

A year ago, Daniels, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear & Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson told your humble correspondent they had no interest in modifying the project or looking at alternatives. Interesting, because the anti-toll chorus wasn’t nearly as loud then as it is now, and Indiana’s pro-business, anti-human services governor must always appear the champion of the very small businesses this project is going to screw over.

And nevermind that calls to scrap the ORBP’s Downtown bridge elicits cries from project supporters that the pesky record of decision will have to be reopened, thus costing millions of dollars in lost time and the renting of fancy meeting halls per the Bridges Authority’s needs.

No word on what Beshear thinks about this, but we’ll update once we hear something.

UPDATE: Beshear hath responded by playing it safe. “We continue to look for ways to make this project cost-effective,” says our governor.


  1. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The 1969 Long range development plan for Louisville included an elevated highway along ninth street! Clearly this predates the Bridges Project plan. We have been talking about the ninth street elevated highway long enough. It’s time to toll I-65 to pay for this new parallel north-south highway that will spur development in the central business district, improve congestion on I-65 by diverting traffic, and increase safety by eliminating dangerous intersections where the majority of accidents occur. Who’s with me?

  2. Meg
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Someone obviously doesn’t know how to do their research before writing an article.

  3. Conradical
    Posted December 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    The idea that each lane of a new construction project could have a significant impact on cost is laughable. This project still would involve the same land acquisition costs along with all the same engineering costs.

  4. stu noland
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The Drumanard tunnel and terribly designed downtown ORBP represent the real opportunity for cost savings. Mitch Daniels is proposing downsizing the one part of the project that the majority of urban planners and highway engineers support. A side issue is the fact that the governor of Indiana thinks the project can be downsized in a time and cost effective way.

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