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Author Topic: I-69 Ohio River Bridge  (Read 226592 times)

truejd

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I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« on: August 05, 2010, 10:32:59 AM »

Does anyone know the status of the portion of I-69 that would connect Henderson, KY and Evansville, IN?  I've read about plans for it in the local newspapers around there but haven't heard anything in a while.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 12:49:49 PM »

It's gonna have to be a toll bridge neither Indiana or Kentucky have the money to build it especially with the Louisville Bridges Project eating up tons of money.
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Revive 755

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 11:32:16 PM »

There's also the Brent Spence Bridge (I-71/75) replacement project that I-69 will/is competing against.  I would say that the I-69 bridge is the lowest priority of the major Ohio River bridge projects in Kentucky - but maybe higher over any new bridge near Wickliffe.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 07:09:23 PM »

Was reading in the latest STIP for Kentucky today that Kentucky must keep the feds abreast of the big dog projects in Kentucky aka Louisville Bridges Project, Brent Spence Bridge, I-69 and I-66. Of those I see the first two as definite in the next ten years and a maybe on the third and dead on the forth. Kentucky should use money intended for I-66 on I-65 (six laning and Jersey's) between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown which is very dangerous and scene of some horrific traffic accidents recently.
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 01:42:27 PM »

Was reading in the latest STIP for Kentucky today that Kentucky must keep the feds abreast of the big dog projects in Kentucky aka Louisville Bridges Project, Brent Spence Bridge, I-69 and I-66. Of those I see the first two as definite in the next ten years and a maybe on the third and dead on the forth. Kentucky should use money intended for I-66 on I-65 (six laning and Jersey's) between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown which is very dangerous and scene of some horrific traffic accidents recently.

Seemed like I-65 was six lanes for most of the way from Nashville to Louisville when I drove it back in December.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 02:14:04 PM »

Was reading in the latest STIP for Kentucky today that Kentucky must keep the feds abreast of the big dog projects in Kentucky aka Louisville Bridges Project, Brent Spence Bridge, I-69 and I-66. Of those I see the first two as definite in the next ten years and a maybe on the third and dead on the forth. Kentucky should use money intended for I-66 on I-65 (six laning and Jersey's) between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown which is very dangerous and scene of some horrific traffic accidents recently.

Seemed like I-65 was six lanes for most of the way from Nashville to Louisville when I drove it back in December.

I-65 is six lanes from the state line north to the vicinity of Exit 43, which is the Cumberland Parkway, and then from Elizabethtown (Exit 93) to the state line. There is a 50-mile stretch that is four lanes.
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 09:12:09 PM »

Kentucky should use money intended for I-66 on I-65 (six laning and Jersey's) between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown which is very dangerous and scene of some horrific traffic accidents recently.

Seemed like I-65 was six lanes for most of the way from Nashville to Louisville when I drove it back in December.

I-65 is six lanes from the state line north to the vicinity of Exit 43, which is the Cumberland Parkway, and then from Elizabethtown (Exit 93) to the state line. There is a 50-mile stretch that is four lanes.

Thought I-65 was 6 lanes north Bowling Green, just couldn't remember where it ran out.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 12:24:04 PM »

That fifty mile stretch has been the area of some horrible crossovers. Earlier this year a Tractor Trailer crossed over just north of the six laning and killed 10 people in a Church van on the other side. I have seen plans for a five mile stretch starting next spring and they have slowly spit out the money for ROW and plans. But this area is in dire need of upgrades.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 12:38:59 PM »

Does anyone know the status of the portion of I-69 that would connect Henderson, KY and Evansville, IN?  I've read about plans for it in the local newspapers around there but haven't heard anything in a while.
Here's a link to an article in yesterday's Evansville Courier-Press which states that I-69 Ohio River Bridge funding split will be 2/3 Kentucky and 1/3 Indiana: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2010/sep/18/no-headline---18a04i-69/

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The total cost of the bridge and 13-mile section near Henderson is estimated at $1 billion, according to Ted Merryman, the I-69 Project Manager for Kentucky.
"Kentucky will be responsible for about two-thirds of the funding and Indiana will be responsible for a third of the funding," Merryman said in his overview presentation.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:03:12 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 10:50:59 AM »

"The total cost of the bridge and 13-mile section near Henderson is estimated at $1 billion, according to Ted Merryman, the I-69 Project Manager for Kentucky.
"Kentucky will be responsible for about two-thirds of the funding and Indiana will be responsible for a third of the funding," Merryman said in his overview presentation."
According to article in today's Evansville Courier Press, the cost estimate for the bridge plus the new roadway to tie into the Pennyrile Parkway has risen to $1.4 billion:

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/feb/12/lobbyists-to-be-hired-for-i-69-bridge/

The article indicates that Western Kentucky and Indiana groups have hired Appian, Inc., an Indianapolis firm specializing in transportation lobbying, to lobby for federal funding for the project.  The groups concede that tolls will comprise part of the funding, but will only cover 26% to 43% of the cost.  The groups also acknowledge that, even with the lobbying effort starting now, the bridge is AT LEAST a decade away.

With that timetable, no telling how many billions of dollars the bridge would ultimately cost.
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Daniel Fiddler

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 03:59:31 PM »

Was reading in the latest STIP for Kentucky today that Kentucky must keep the feds abreast of the big dog projects in Kentucky aka Louisville Bridges Project, Brent Spence Bridge, I-69 and I-66. Of those I see the first two as definite in the next ten years and a maybe on the third and dead on the forth. Kentucky should use money intended for I-66 on I-65 (six laning and Jersey's) between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown which is very dangerous and scene of some horrific traffic accidents recently.

I too agree with this statement.  I - 66 to me does not seem to be a feasible road.  I think the money spent for I - 66 would be better spent on completing the I - 65 widening as well as my proposed Cumberland Plateau Turnpike (see the section for fictional highways), which combined with the northern and eastern arcs of the Chattanooga Beltway (also in that section) would reduce the distance between Atlanta and Louisville by 75 miles.

I definitely support the Louisville bridges project because they badly need it and the I - 69 because it's essentially done except for the bridge between Evansville and Henderson and maybe a few interchange modifications.  The Brent Spence bridge I support more than I do I - 66 for sure, but not as high as I do the Louisville bridges, the I - 65 widening, or I - 69.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 04:07:09 PM by Daniel Fiddler »
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ShawnP

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2011, 09:46:08 PM »

I put I-66 as dead because it has no polictical will behind it at this time. I-65 has a good chance at becoming a reality by this summer (read Scotty's Construction Company's unique offer to Kentucky).  The Bridges Project might get going by next year but I would prefer the East End first at six lanes to see how much traffic it can take off downtown Louisville.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 06:24:19 AM »

During yesterday's announcement about I-69 signs going up in Kentucky this fall, Gov. Beshear was asked about the Ohio River Bridge.  Basically, he provided no real news other than speculation about the creation of a new authority to figure out financing for the project:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/01/no-headline---ev_i69/

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... However, the governor couldn’t forecast when the toughest portion of Kentucky’s I-69 project — financing and building a bridge across the Ohio River between Henderson and Evansville, estimated a few years ago to cost $1.4 billion — will be completed or even begin.
Beshear said leaders in the Henderson-Evansville area likely will establish a special authority to develop a financing plan, as is already taking place for a planned pair of Ohio River bridges at Louisville ...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:04:31 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 12:58:44 PM »

The I-69 Ohio River Bridge is still touted as a top priority for western Kentucky, but financial reality and tough competition from other Ohio River bridge projects are also acknowledged:
http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=313573

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The legislature has cut $1.3 billion out of the state budget over the past two-and-a-half years, state Sen. Dorsey Ridley told the Green River Area Development District's board of directors Wednesday.
"We've cut all the low-hanging fruit," the Henderson Democrat said. "Any additional cuts will be very difficult and will be long in healing."
"The next budget will be very difficult," Rep. Jim Gooch said. "The governor says it will likely be the most difficult we've faced." ...
Ridley said upgrading part of the Pennyrile, Western Kentucky and Purchase parkways to become I-69 and building a new bridge over the Ohio River at Henderson "is the next large infrastructure project for economic development in our area. But the bridge is the big cost factor."
Gooch warned that the I-69 bridge will be competing for funding with bridges in Louisville and northern Kentucky.
"It'll be very tough to do them all," he said ...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:05:34 PM by Grzrd »
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mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2011, 10:24:08 AM »

My guess is this will be a Breezewood situation for many years to come. Too bad the existing US 41 bridge can't be used for I-69 for a while, but the situation on the Henderson side would make that nearly impossible. I assume KYTC will be the lead agency for the I-69 bridge and approach project, right (therefore responsible for financing it)?
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2011, 10:39:42 AM »

My guess is this will be a Breezewood situation for many years to come. Too bad the existing US 41 bridge can't be used for I-69 for a while, but the situation on the Henderson side would make that nearly impossible. I assume KYTC will be the lead agency for the I-69 bridge and approach project, right (therefore responsible for financing it)?
The approximate 15-month old link in post quoted below is still "live"; I assume 2/3 share means KYTC will take the lead:
Here's a link to an article in yesterday's Evansville Courier-Press which states that I-69 Ohio River Bridge funding split will be 2/3 Kentucky and 1/3 Indiana: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2010/sep/18/no-headline---18a04i-69/
"The total cost of the bridge and 13-mile section near Henderson is estimated at $1 billion, according to Ted Merryman, the I-69 Project Manager for Kentucky.
"Kentucky will be responsible for about two-thirds of the funding and Indiana will be responsible for a third of the funding," Merryman said in his overview presentation."
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mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2011, 11:02:05 AM »

Yeah, that would make sense. So why would the Louisville bridge projects be split 50-50?
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ShawnP

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2012, 09:11:37 AM »

I think they are split because Indiana has the money and wants to go now. Kentucky just wants to hide it's money problems. With the twin projects at least one will get done and that's the badly needed east end bridge. I think both states will be shocked how many folks use the east end bridge to travel to Louisville. I will use it to travel even to the Highlands area.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2012, 10:58:14 AM »

The presence of that bridge would certainly influence my choice of how to get to Indianapolis. I don't like I-75, but right now I-75 to I-275 to I-74 is my route of choice, primarily because of downtown Louisville. That East End Bridge would make me more likely to use I-65.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 10:35:29 PM »

This article points out that the 2012 Recommended Highway Plan does not propose any funding for the I-69 Ohio River Bridge over the next six years:
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For the first time ever, a Kentucky governor is calling for replacing the narrow U.S. 60 bridge across the Green River at Spottsville.
It's among more than $250 million in highway projects Gov. Steve Beshear is proposing for Henderson, Union and Webster counties over the next six years, although much of the work is so far off that he will be out of office before dirt is turned.
The six-year road plan is subject to revision and approval by the 2012 General Assembly, currently in session.
Beshear's recommendations include rebuilding the Robards and Sebree interchanges on the Pennyrile/Breathitt Parkway to help prepare the parkway to become part of Interstate 69.
But no funding is proposed for an I-69 bridge across the Ohio River between Henderson and Evansville ...

Under Kentucky law, the governor sends a highway plan to the General Assembly every two years. It includes a blueprint for spending Road Fund revenues that will be appropriated in the new biennium — 2012-2014 in this case — and planning for the four "out years" beyond the biennium ...

Here are some highlights of the governor's proposal ...

I-69 routing: $1 million to review the planned route, or "alignment," for new I-69 roadway from the proposed Ohio River bridge to the Pennyrile/Breathitt Parkway.
Plans have called for the I-69 bridge to cross the river east of the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges and tie into the Pennyrile south of Henderson.
No funding is proposed for the bridge itself during the next six years ...
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2012, 09:42:59 PM »

"The total cost of the bridge and 13-mile section near Henderson is estimated at $1 billion, according to Ted Merryman, the I-69 Project Manager for Kentucky.
"Kentucky will be responsible for about two-thirds of the funding and Indiana will be responsible for a third of the funding," Merryman said in his overview presentation."
According to article in today's Evansville Courier Press, the cost estimate for the bridge plus the new roadway to tie into the Pennyrile Parkway has risen to $1.4 billion:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/feb/12/lobbyists-to-be-hired-for-i-69-bridge/

Surprisingly, this March 6, 2012 article provides a cost estimate for the I-69 Ohio River Bridge and the new roadway to connect to the Pennyrile that is significantly less than the above two estimates:

Quote
The most challenging link for I-69 in western Kentucky will be constructing a new bridge across the Ohio River east of Henderson and constructing new roadway to connect the bridge with the Pennyrile south of town. The project has been projected to cost $600 million to $800 million, a funding challenge that Kentucky and Indiana officials haven't resolved.

I suppose it is possible that the $600 million to $800 million estimate is for the bridge alone, although the wording in the article seems to indicate otherwise.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 09:45:27 PM by Grzrd »
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2012, 10:01:25 AM »

Too bad then we didn't have a time machine, we could had gone back in time to convince KYDOT to end the Pennyrile parkway just south of the bridge instead of the current end or telling KTDOT to do more acquisitions during that era to upgrade that little gap of US-41 into full freeway with service roads.
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RoadWarrior56

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2012, 07:38:18 PM »

I think if you want to point fingers, go back to pre-1968 when Indiana and Kentucky were applying for a share of the 1500 new interstate mileage that added to the system at that time.  The original proposal for I-63/I-164 was to build a new Ohio River Bridge and to connect to US 41/ Pennyrile Pkwy, fairly close to the current I-69 proposal.

From my understanding, the Feds truncated that more ambitious plan back to a 12-mile spur between I-64 SR 66/Division Street.  Indiana originally applied to construct an I-63 from south of the Ohio River north to Brazil, IN, providing a route to Indianapolis, via I-70 the rest of the way.  I-164 got its proposed route extended from Division St. to US 41 south of Evansville around 1980.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2012, 10:59:29 PM »

The parallel US 41 bridge wasn't built until the late 1960s. Perhaps they should have built a new four-lane span elsewhere and left the US 41 crossing as a two-lane one.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 01:13:04 PM »

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/feb/12/lobbyists-to-be-hired-for-i-69-bridge/
The article indicates that Western Kentucky and Indiana groups have hired Appian, Inc., an Indianapolis firm specializing in transportation lobbying, to lobby for federal funding for the project. The groups concede that tolls will comprise part of the funding, but will only cover 26% to 43% of the cost.

This letter from SW Indiana Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Matthew Meadors seems to set forth a game plan to obtaining the other 57% to 74% of the funding for the bridge:
(1) get I-69 to be designated a Project of National and Regional Significance in the federal highway reauthorization bill, (2) have the Federal Highway Administration appoint a national Interstate 69 Project Manager, (3) maintain that the I-69 Ohio River crossing is important in both regional and national terms, (4) emphasize the age of the US 41 twin bridges, as well as the fact that they are neither tornado nor earthquake proof, and (5) emphasize the dramatic, negative impact that the loss of one or both of the US 41 bridges would have on the regional economy. Apparently, the thinking is that all of the above would make the I-69 Ohio River Bridge a high priority for a FHWA I-69 Project Manager.

Quote
I am writing this letter to you on the morning (significance to come) of Tuesday, Feb. 29, one day after returning from a trip to Washington, D.C., with a delegation of business leaders from Southwest Indiana and Northwest Kentucky to discuss our region's needs with federal officials. Our visit had a heavy focus on advocating for the completion of Interstate 69 within Indiana and Kentucky, as well as along the entire national corridor, and construction of a new Ohio River bridge linking Evansville to Henderson.
The visit included a luncheon meeting that was attended by influencers from many parts of the eight state I-69 corridor. Speakers included Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas; Gov. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky; Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky; Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear; Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Michael Cline; Jennifer Shepard, executive director of the Alliance for I-69 in Texas; and Mike Schopmeyer, past chairman of the board of directors for The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana.
During visits with our elected officials to discuss the highway and bridge project, we stayed on message. Key points of our discussions included:
Designate Interstate 69 a Project of National and Regional Significance in the federal highway reauthorization bill. This designation will make segments of the highway throughout the corridor eligible for programmatic funding from the Federal Highway Administration and partially mitigate the need for lawmakers to ask for large earmarks to help build the road;
Have the Federal Highway Administration appoint an Interstate 69 Project Manager. This has been done in the past for other multistate highway projects and there is enough progress being made along the entire national corridor — and awareness of the importance of the project to the nation's economic competitiveness — that a Project Manager is warranted;
The construction of a new bridge between Evansville and Henderson is critically important not only to our economic region, but the entire multistate corridor;
The importance of tolling and allowing public/private partnerships to be established to help fund our nation's infrastructure needs.
The Bi-State Vietnam Gold Star Bridges, or more commonly referred to as the twin bridges by those of us who call the region home, were also discussed fairly extensively during our visit. We talked about the age of the bridges (northbound bridge was built in 1932; southbound bridge was built in 1966), quality of construction, usage (approximately 40,000 vehicles per day), the fact that the bridges are not earthquake or tornado proof, and the dramatic, negative impact that the loss of one or both bridges would have on our regional economy.
Which brings me full circle to the significance of the morning of February 29. Most of us watched in a state of great concern as the weather forecasters told us of an approaching tornado, while warning sirens wailed in the distance. It was a few minutes before 6 a.m. The tornado was taking aim at our fellow citizens and the twin bridges. I could hardly believe that I had just returned from Washington, D.C., to discuss our infrastructure needs the evening before, and was now sitting in my family room watching a very serious storm approach. Thankfully a catastrophe was avoided. No lives were lost. Property damage was significant but not great. The twin bridges remained standing.
We need a new bridge. We will make it happen.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 08:35:44 PM by Grzrd »
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