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Author Topic: I-69 Ohio River Bridge  (Read 248166 times)

mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #100 on: November 26, 2012, 07:05:10 PM »

Why doesn't Kentucky quit calling these roadways "Parkways", and call them "Freeways" instead?  That might help their marketing issue short of redesignating all of them as interstates.  In most states, the term "Parkway" implies no large trucks.

And I have always wondered why the parallel US routes (US 62, US 41, US 231, etc) were not moved the parkways once the tolls were paid off. 

Those are good questions, of course.

So as someone from that metro area who is a highway designer, Roadwarrior, how do you see the bridge issue being resolved given financial constraints? Is there any realistic alternative other than the expesive new bridge that may not be built for decades?
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RoadWarrior56

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #101 on: November 26, 2012, 08:27:38 PM »

My personal opinion is that in the long run the bridge will need to be built and probably will be built at some point.  From what I have been told, INDOT already has their share of the money for it (held back from Major Moves), although that information is second-hand and could be wrong.  Kentucky is who has the big money issues, and their share would be the majority for this section of roadway and bridge.

Once I-69 connects to Indianapolis from Evansville, or at least gets to Martinsville, and once most or all of the designated Parkways in Kentucky have been upgraded to I-69 and signed in the field, the pressure would start to build to fill in the gap with the new bridge and connecting roadway.  My guestimate is that could take another 10 years or so from now.  Also, by then increased congestion/poorer condition of the exisiting bridges would make a parallel toll bridge more attractive for motorists. 

In other words, until I-69 has enough continuous segments opened on both sides of the bridge, I don't see the need for that bridge to be constructed within the next 10 years.  However, I do hope KYTC is able to protect the corridor for the preferred alternative that was identified in the incomplete EIS.  Because I think at that point, Indiana and Kentucky will get serious about buiding that bridge.   
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mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #102 on: November 26, 2012, 10:53:31 PM »

I agree, generally, but I would say once I-69 is through Bloomington and the Pennyrile Pkwy. becomes I-69, that pressure will be on. That could be more like five years. Assuming a minimum lead time of five years to get everything lined up, they had better get going soon, but I am not holding my breath. This may be a longterm Breezewood-like situation.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #103 on: November 27, 2012, 10:43:33 PM »

However, I do hope KYTC is able to protect the corridor for the preferred alternative that was identified in the incomplete EIS.  Because I think at that point, Indiana and Kentucky will get serious about buiding that bridge.   

Generally, Kentucky tells people to do what they want with their property and to give no thought to whether or not a road will be built through the area. This is currently an issue -- well, "issue" may be too strong of a word -- as design work gets underway on some improvements to the easternmost mileage of the Mountain Parkway. Some of the properties that would be needed for the project were the sites of homes that were destroyed by the Magoffin County tornado this past spring. Property owners have been asking whether they should build back and are being told to do what they wish without any consideration as to whether or not that property will be needed for the road.

I agree, generally, but I would say once I-69 is through Bloomington and the Pennyrile Pkwy. becomes I-69, that pressure will be on. That could be more like five years. Assuming a minimum lead time of five years to get everything lined up, they had better get going soon, but I am not holding my breath. This may be a longterm Breezewood-like situation.

I hate the term "Breezewood" being used for this situation, or for situations where freeways have no direct connections and you have to use surface roads. Breezewood is a unique anomaly where the permanent setup is you have to use a small portion of a surface route to stay on the expressway. This will be more like it was back in the days when the interstates were being constructed and you had to, for example, exit I-64 eastbound at Frankfort and take US 60 or US 421 to Lexington to rejoin the interstate.

But this won't be the only situation. There will be several instances in Tennessee. South Fulton (not a full freeway interchange at the Purchase Parkway, US 51 and US 45/45E/45W) and the portion south of Dyersburg will be in existence for a long time to come before an Interstate is built.
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mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #104 on: November 27, 2012, 10:53:31 PM »

I agree, generally, but I would say once I-69 is through Bloomington and the Pennyrile Pkwy. becomes I-69, that pressure will be on. That could be more like five years. Assuming a minimum lead time of five years to get everything lined up, they had better get going soon, but I am not holding my breath. This may be a longterm Breezewood-like situation.

I hate the term "Breezewood" being used for this situation, or for situations where freeways have no direct connections and you have to use surface roads. Breezewood is a unique anomaly where the permanent setup is you have to use a small portion of a surface route to stay on the expressway. This will be more like it was back in the days when the interstates were being constructed and you had to, for example, exit I-64 eastbound at Frankfort and take US 60 or US 421 to Lexington to rejoin the interstate.

But this won't be the only situation. There will be several instances in Tennessee. South Fulton (not a full freeway interchange at the Purchase Parkway, US 51 and US 45/45E/45W) and the portion south of Dyersburg will be in existence for a long time to come before an Interstate is built.

The term Breezewood is well understood, and while this is not identical, the effect is similar.

From a pure I-69 perspective, you are right, but I suspect as many people would use I-69 as an alternative to I-65. I doubt I would ever take I-69 to Memphis, but I likely would use it to go to Nashville or points south.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #105 on: November 27, 2012, 10:59:13 PM »

From a pure I-69 perspective, you are right, but I suspect as many people would use I-69 as an alternative to I-65. I doubt I would ever take I-69 to Memphis, but I likely would use it to go to Nashville or points south.

Wouldn't the logical route then be to cross the river on US 231 and take the Natcher Parkway to Bowling Green?

I've decided that if I ever need to go to the Memphis area or points south or west, I'm taking the Kentucky parkways to US 51 to I-155. Bypasses Nashville and the miles and hours of boring rough pavement suckiness that is I-40 west of Music City, plus much less traffic.
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mukade

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #106 on: November 27, 2012, 11:10:27 PM »

From a pure I-69 perspective, you are right, but I suspect as many people would use I-69 as an alternative to I-65. I doubt I would ever take I-69 to Memphis, but I likely would use it to go to Nashville or points south.

Wouldn't the logical route then be to cross the river on US 231 and take the Natcher Parkway to Bowling Green?

Realizing that SR 37 is a pain thru Indy, Martinsville, and Bloomington, a good chunk of that needs to be upgraded. Then I would say when Owensboro has a better bypass. It is better than Henderson, but is still a pain going through there.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #107 on: November 27, 2012, 11:39:52 PM »

Realizing that SR 37 is a pain thru Indy, Martinsville, and Bloomington, a good chunk of that needs to be upgraded. Then I would say when Owensboro has a better bypass. It is better than Henderson, but is still a pain going through there.

There is currently a project under construction that will bypass that older four-lane stretch of US 60 that took on US 231 when the new bridge was built. It ties in to US 60 about where the 1990s-vintage construction ended, and then will tie into the Wendell Ford Bypass near the KY 54 interchange.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #108 on: November 28, 2012, 03:47:48 AM »

Realizing that SR 37 is a pain thru Indy, Martinsville, and Bloomington, a good chunk of that needs to be upgraded. Then I would say when Owensboro has a better bypass. It is better than Henderson, but is still a pain going through there.

There is currently a project under construction that will bypass that older four-lane stretch of US 60 that took on US 231 when the new bridge was built. It ties in to US 60 about where the 1990s-vintage construction ended, and then will tie into the Wendell Ford Bypass near the KY 54 interchange.

And that stretch looks like it will be done by the end of next year, maybe early '14.  (Crosses fingers!)  I'm not 100% sure, but I thought I read somewhere that they want it open between KY 54 and Pleasant Valley/KY 603 before the new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital opens in the summer.  It's located right off the new extension between Pleasant Valley and Daniels Lane.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #109 on: December 14, 2012, 02:38:40 PM »

This article reports on Kevin McLaren of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet addressing the Kentucky portion of the I-69 project at the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce 2013 Legislative Priorities breakfast on December 13, in which event literature described the Ohio River bridge as being "key": 

Quote
The Madisonville­Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, as a member of Chamber Leadership Initiatives for Northwestern Kentucky, or C-LINK, a group of 12 chambers of commerce representing communities in 10 Northwest Kentucky counties, encourages our state and federal legislators to continue to pursue completion of Kentucky's portion of Interstate 69. Key to the I-69 project will be the building of a new bridge spanning the Ohio River between Henderson County and Vanderburgh County in Indiana and construction of a 10-mile stretch of connector highway around Henderson between the bridge and the Pennyrile Parkway.

However, Chamber member businesses prioritized eight local projects, and I-69 (including the Ohio River bridge) only ranked as the fourth highest priority.  The twin bridges must be a doing a good job at the present time.
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thefro

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #110 on: December 16, 2012, 01:35:58 PM »

I agree, generally, but I would say once I-69 is through Bloomington and the Pennyrile Pkwy. becomes I-69, that pressure will be on. That could be more like five years. Assuming a minimum lead time of five years to get everything lined up, they had better get going soon, but I am not holding my breath. This may be a longterm Breezewood-like situation.

I hate the term "Breezewood" being used for this situation, or for situations where freeways have no direct connections and you have to use surface roads. Breezewood is a unique anomaly where the permanent setup is you have to use a small portion of a surface route to stay on the expressway. This will be more like it was back in the days when the interstates were being constructed and you had to, for example, exit I-64 eastbound at Frankfort and take US 60 or US 421 to Lexington to rejoin the interstate.

But this won't be the only situation. There will be several instances in Tennessee. South Fulton (not a full freeway interchange at the Purchase Parkway, US 51 and US 45/45E/45W) and the portion south of Dyersburg will be in existence for a long time to come before an Interstate is built.

The term Breezewood is well understood, and while this is not identical, the effect is similar.

From a pure I-69 perspective, you are right, but I suspect as many people would use I-69 as an alternative to I-65. I doubt I would ever take I-69 to Memphis, but I likely would use it to go to Nashville or points south.

I agree that a large % of people in SW Indiana will reroute to using I-69 to I-164 to US 41 to Pennyrile to I-24 to head to Nashville and points further south (Atlanta, Alabama, vacationing along the FL Gulf Coast) instead of cutting over to I-65, but that's not very much thru traffic being added in the grand scheme of things.  The main driver is going to be either the existing bridges falling apart or population growth in the Evansville metro area.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 01:38:13 PM by thefro »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #111 on: December 20, 2012, 10:59:49 AM »

the November 25 Henderson Gleaner has an interview with Kevin Sheilley, the outgoing president and CEO of Northwest Kentucky Forward:
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"As much as we, this region, has fought for I-69, it's still not on the radar screen" of Kentucky at large, Sheilley said. "It's still not getting the attention it needs to go forward.
"I don't sense any major player in Frankfort advocating on its behalf," he said.
"It's going to take a governor saying, 'It's a priority. We're going to find a way to get this done,' " Sheilley said. "With all respect to Gov. (Steve) Beshear, all the focus has been on Louisville," where two new bridges over the Ohio River are being developed.

In this TV video report, which is primarily about the groundbreaking for the KY 109 interchange upgrade, Gov. Beshear remarks that I-69 is about "jobs, jobs, jobs ... jobs in Kentucky ... jobs in Indiana" and that they will "eventually" have to build the bridges from Indiana to Henderson.  Although he does not tout the Ohio River bridge(s) as a "priority", he at least indicates that the project is on his political "radar screen" in terms of a long-term need.  Of course, he will be able to kick the can down the road to future governors.

The video report also has some footage of the current KY 109 interchange.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #112 on: January 20, 2013, 10:57:55 AM »

This article reports on Kevin McLaren of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet addressing the Kentucky portion of the I-69 project at the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce 2013 Legislative Priorities breakfast on December 13, in which event literature described the Ohio River bridge as being "key": 
Quote
The Madisonville­Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, as a member of Chamber Leadership Initiatives for Northwestern Kentucky, or C-LINK, a group of 12 chambers of commerce representing communities in 10 Northwest Kentucky counties, encourages our state and federal legislators to continue to pursue completion of Kentucky's portion of Interstate 69. Key to the I-69 project will be the building of a new bridge spanning the Ohio River between Henderson County and Vanderburgh County in Indiana and construction of a 10-mile stretch of connector highway around Henderson between the bridge and the Pennyrile Parkway.
However, Chamber member businesses prioritized eight local projects, and I-69 (including the Ohio River bridge) only ranked as the fourth highest priority.  The twin bridges must be a doing a good job at the present time.
I would say once I-69 is through Bloomington and the Pennyrile Pkwy. becomes I-69, that pressure will be on. That could be more like five years. Assuming a minimum lead time of five years to get everything lined up, they had better get going soon

The Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce has identified its legislative priorities for 2013. The number one federal initiative is to encourage various federal entities to designate Interstate 69 as a Project of National and Regional Significance and to accelerate funding for a new Interstate 69 Ohio River bridge:

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The chamber strongly encourages Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration to designate Interstate 69 as a Project of National and Regional Significance and to accelerate funding for a new Interstate 69 Ohio River bridge. The chamber further supports the efforts of CLINK and Hoosier Voices for I-69 in advocating for the advancement of the studies necessary to obtain federal and state funding to swiftly construct this vital new bridge.
The chamber will continue to work diligently with C-LINK, Hoosier Voices, the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana and state governmental agencies to encourage the utilization of alternative funding mechanisms such as tolling or to expedite this essential construction project.

In the short term, obtaining the designation as a Project of National and Regional Significance, if done quickly, could provide access to part of a $500 million pot of money authorized by MAP-21 in FY2013 that could be applied to initial engineering studies, etc.:

Quote
Projects of National and Regional Significance [1120]
MAP-21 authorizes $500 million from the General Fund (subject to appropriation) in FY 2013 only, to fund critical high-cost surface transportation capital projects that will accomplish national goals, such as generating national/regional economic benefits and improving safety, and that are difficult to complete with existing Federal, State, local, and private funds. States, tribes, transit agencies, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional groups of these entities are eligible to apply for competitive grant funding.

However, I get the sense that Kentucky and Indiana have yet to put together an organized "multi-State" effort regarding the I-69 Ohio River Bridge.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #113 on: February 15, 2013, 11:54:47 AM »

David Dixon, editor of the Henderson Gleaner, seconds the call for creating the bi-state authority in this editorial
Quote
We're not talking about moving dirt or even making drawings, but creating the bi-state commission that needs to be set up before anything else can happen. Let's get it done .... Competing for attention with a big town like Cincinnati and Kentucky's Golden Triangle will be tough.

This article reports that the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce has hired the former president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Christy Gillenwater, to be its president and CEO.  Although the article does not discuss a bi-state commission, Gillenwater is presented as having survived the Bloomington I-69 wars and that she is making the I-69 Ohio River bridge a priority:

Quote
Pushing for construction of an Interstate 69 bridge can unite business interests on both sides of the Ohio River, the new president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana said Thursday.
“Yes, we’re Hoosiers, and we’re Wildcats, (but) these bridges connect us,” Christy Gillenwater, who took the helm of the Evansville chamber in December, declared at a Henderson Chamber of Commerce breakfast ....
Securing necessary funding from Kentucky and Indiana — even with the likelihood that tolls would be collected on the bridge — is proving a challenge, particularly with Kentucky already working with Indiana to construct two new interstate bridges across the Ohio River at Louisville and while Northern Kentucky is lobbying for a new I-75 bridge to Cincinnati.
But Gillenwater noted that groups on both sides of the river — Hoosier Voices for I-69 and the Chamber Leadership Initiative of Northwest Kentucky (C-LINK) — continue to jointly advocate for the bridge here.
“We need to come to your aid and partner with you and move forward collectively,” she said.
Gillenwater isn’t new to facing obstacles to I-69. Before coming to Evansville, she had been president and CEO since 2005 of the Greater Bloomington (Ind.) Chamber of Commerce. There was organized opposition to construction of the interstate there for reasons ranging from environmental issues to concerns that an interstate would harm Bloomington’s small-town atmosphere ....

It will be interesting to see if she tries to encourage the creation of a bi-state commission.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:59:02 AM by Grzrd »
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thefro

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #114 on: February 15, 2013, 12:09:02 PM »

It'll take a lot of earmarked federal money at this point to get it off the backburner.

Governor Pence has said his 3 highway construction priorities for the next four years are I-69 from Evansville to Indianapolis, US 31 from Indianapolis to South Bend, and the Louisville bridges project.  It does seem like Indiana is going to put a good portion of their budget surplus back into transportation funding but local communities want a lot of that money for maintenance/repair/upgrading of local roads.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #115 on: February 25, 2013, 02:23:20 PM »

"The total cost of the bridge and 13-mile section near Henderson is estimated at $1 billion
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.
Does anyone know if KYTC has started the Project Review for the alignment around Henderson? - edit - I recently received an email reply to this question from KYTC:
Quote
... The project you referenced in your question is in the early stages of planning.  The Recommended Highway Plan has money set aside for its construction in 2019.  This is a target construction date and at this time we are uncertain as to if that date is realistic or not.

This article reports that a bill has been filed that would allow KYTC to explore having public-private partnerships use tolls as a funding component for projects over $500 million:

Quote
State Rep. Sannie Overly has filed a bill that will allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to explore public-private partnerships to help construction projects with big price tags .... "This bill is not designed for any one particular project, it is really nothing more than an additional tool in the toolbox of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet," she said.
In public-private partnerships, companies contribute to the construction costs in exchange for access to revenue sources, such as tolls. Under Overly's bill, the public-private option would be available only to so-called mega-projects, which is any project which costs more than $500 million.

The projected cost for the I-69 Ohio River Bridge is greater than $500 million.



This Op-Ed Commentary is signed by nine Kentucky state senators and 21 Kentucky state representatives from western Kentucky.  In the Op-Ed, they appear to argue that the rest of the state should allow tolls to be used as part of the financing system for the I-69 Ohio River Bridge, which also appears to be a plea to enact the above-referenced bill regarding public-private partnerships:

Quote
As legislators who have been involved in the I-69 corridor project for a number of years, we were very disappointed to read the article diminishing the importance of Interstate 69 in Kentucky .... The reporters fail to note, however, that completion of the new I-69 bridge between Henderson and Evansville will, in fact, help the current system, too.
There are now two bridges at that location, one carrying northbound and one carrying southbound traffic. The first was built in 1932 and the second in 1966. The bridges are gridlocked at rush hours, operating at the lowest level of efficiency.
The anticipated increase in traffic flow along the upgraded I-69 corridor will dramatically alleviate the pressure on the current system. This isn't a frivolous choice, but one that is necessary to keep the Kentucky economy moving forward.

The reporters' intent was to take a critical view of infrastructure building, but they merely highlighted a much bigger concern that many of us have about our road infrastructure. The reason that funding for the I-69 bridge project has not been identified is that Kentucky and Indiana have been working through a backlog of necessary projects.
The federal gas tax has not changed since 1993 and has 35 percent less purchasing power today. With the costs to build far outpacing the revenues raised, it is no wonder that projects always take several years to build and that states must be creative in finding funding for their projects.
The citizens of Western Kentucky stepped up to build the former parkway system with tolls, allowing federal and state gas taxes to be used on roads elsewhere in the state. It is time the rest of the state recognized the needs of Western Kentucky as well.

Maybe a public-private partnership will be put in place in time for dirt to be turned on the Henderson approach in 2019.

As an aside, didn't they mean to write "increase" instead of "alleviate" in regard to pressure on the current system?  :hmm:
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 02:41:32 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #116 on: February 28, 2013, 10:18:14 PM »

David Dixon, editor of the Henderson Gleaner, seconds the call for creating the bi-state authority in this editorial
Quote
We're not talking about moving dirt or even making drawings, but creating the bi-state commission that needs to be set up before anything else can happen. Let's get it done
This article reports that the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce has hired the former president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Christy Gillenwater, to be its president and CEO.  Although the article does not discuss a bi-state commission, Gillenwater is presented as having survived the Bloomington I-69 wars and that she is making the I-69 Ohio River bridge a priority

When making the above post, I had overlooked a February 7 Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana Op-Ed in which creation of a Bi-State Authority is the Chamber's top public policy initiative for 2013:

Quote
As our top public policy priority, The Chamber supports Hoosier Voices for I-69 and C-LINK in encouraging the formation of a Bi-State Authority that would advance the studies necessary to gain federal funding to construct a new I-69 bridge connecting Evansville to Henderson, Ky.

At least it seems like Gillenwater and the Chamber are doing the preliminary groundwork to figure out how to finance the project.
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #117 on: March 24, 2013, 10:34:11 AM »

A Henderson Gleaner editorial looks to the Louisville Ohio River bridges project to formulate a guesstimate of what the tolls might be on the I-69 Ohio River bridge:

Quote
We’re no closer to knowing when or if Kentucky will be able to undertake the estimated $1.4 billion construction of an Interstate 69 bridge across the Ohio River between Henderson and Evansville.
That’s largely because the state is already engaged in the $2.6-billion project to build two new Ohio River interstate bridges at Louisville (while the pressure continues for a new I-75 bridge between northern Kentucky and Cincinnati).
But the Louisville project might shed light on how much vehicles would have to pay in tolls to help pay for a new bridge here.
A consultant for the Louisville bridges last week said tolls there would likely be $1 for a car or light truck with a “frequent user” transponder; $2 for other two-axle vehicles; $5 for medium-sized trucks; and $10 for heavy trucks.

Those assumed rates were presented to the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority, which will be selling toll revenue bonds to help finance the new bridge in downtown Louisville for northbound I-65 traffic.
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #118 on: March 27, 2013, 01:20:19 PM »

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke wants leaders in both Evansville, Indiana and Henderson, Kentucky to repeatedly stress the importance of the I-69 Ohio River Bridge to their respective congressional delegations in order to eventually get federal money/assistance to make the bridge a reality:
Quote
New Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke .... concerning the challenges of securing funds for an I-69 bridge across the Ohio River from Evansville to Henderson, Winnecke said, "each community needs to be lobbying our respective congressional delegations to make sure this is a priority for both Henderson and Evansville."

In this TV video report, Mayor Winnecke continues to stress the importance of the I-69 Ohio River bridge:

Quote
" I-69 is more than just a route between Evansville and Indianapolis. It's really a route to the south, too. So until a bridge over the Ohio River designated for Interstate 69 is built, I-69 will be an incomplete project," Mayor Winnecke said. "Mayor Austin and I have committed to each other and to our communities that we will be advocates to renew the discussion on building a new bridge over the Ohio River."
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #119 on: April 01, 2013, 08:30:19 AM »

This article reports that the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce has hired the former president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Christy Gillenwater, to be its president and CEO.  Although the article does not discuss a bi-state commission, Gillenwater is presented as having survived the Bloomington I-69 wars and that she is making the I-69 Ohio River bridge a priority

In a Letter From the Chamber President, Gillenwater makes some interesting comparisons to other Ohio River crossings:

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Traffic counts on the U.S. 41 bridges are currently third of the 10 bridges crossing the Ohio River connecting Indiana with Kentucky. With the impending completion of I-69 in the two states, daily traffic will undoubtedly increase.
The Southwest Indiana regional business community was recently identified as one of the highest volume urban shipping hubs in the nation, thanks to diversified intermodal transportation links. Yet, the U.S. 41 bridges serve, without redundancy, one corridor. In comparison, the Louisville MSA will soon have four Ohio River bridges; the Owensboro/Paducah MSA is serviced by two bridges; and the Cincinnati MSA has seven Ohio River bridges. The Southwest Indiana/Henderson MSA is the largest MSA in the region with a single highway river crossing.

She also writes about vulnerability to an earthquake and the stress of increased traffic on aging infrastructure:

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... our U.S. 41 bridges do not meet current earthquake standards, and as traffic increases in the coming years, we can only expect that more bottlenecking will occur on the highway. Challenged with at-grade intersections, stoplights, driveways and many traffic intersections, the critical 8-mile segment most certainly creates looming transportation hazards for the region. Although the U.S. 41 bridges are accepted as sturdy and durable today, the infrastructure is quickly aging and will be disproportionately strained by the increased I-69 traffic.

Finally, she intends to cooperate in identifying a funding mechanism for the I-69 Ohio River bridge:

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The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana supports the efforts of Hoosier Voices for I-69 and Chamber Leadership Initiatives for Northwestern Kentucky (C-LINK) as they encourage the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to act creatively in formulating a plan to fund the completion of a new I-69 bridge. And, as funding becomes increasingly limited at both the state and federal levels, The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana will continue to work closely with Hoosier Voices for I-69 and C-LINK to identify and encourage the use of alternative funding mechanisms, such as tolling and public-private partnerships, to expedite the construction of the much-needed I-69 bridge.

edit


In this Inside Indiana Business interview, Gillenwater speaks about how long it takes to put a bridge project together and that "of course, it's Kentucky's bridge".
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 08:15:40 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #120 on: April 19, 2013, 08:14:08 AM »

A Henderson Gleaner editorial looks to the Louisville Ohio River bridges project to formulate a guesstimate of what the tolls might be on the I-69 Ohio River bridge:
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the Louisville project might shed light on how much vehicles would have to pay in tolls to help pay for a new bridge here.
A consultant for the Louisville bridges last week said tolls there would likely be $1 for a car or light truck with a “frequent user” transponder; $2 for other two-axle vehicles; $5 for medium-sized trucks; and $10 for heavy trucks.
In this Inside Indiana Business interview, Gillenwater speaks about how long it takes to put a bridge project together and that "of course, it's Kentucky's bridge".

This article reports that Gary Valentine, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s new project manager for Interstate 69, warned the Henderson Chamber of Commerce that tolls would probably be necessary to fund construction of the bridge, and he also used the Louisville example for a possible toll structure:

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The latest cost estimate, which dates from 2008, is $1.4 billion for the Ohio River crossing and its related highway approaches. “Right now, it’s not an affordable project for us.
“To be honest, $1.4 billion is very challenging in these times,” said Valentine, adding that the gas tax doesn’t cover costs like it once did.
Kentucky’s six-year road plan, which guides all state highway construction, provides $1 million to study ways to make the bridge more affordable and Valentine said he thinks costs can be shaved, but a toll might be necessary ....
Valentine gave some ball-park estimates on what kind of toll prices motorists could expect on a new bridge, based on what is being proposed for the new bridges at Louisville. The rates being looked at there are $1 for a frequent user.
“In preliminary studies we defined a frequent user as someone who used the bridge 20 times a month in both directions.” Non-frequent users would pay $2, while the price would be $5 for “box-type trucks and commercial-type trucks” and $10 for tractor-trailer rigs.



Does anyone know if KYTC has started the Project Review for the alignment around Henderson? - edit - I recently received an email reply to this question from KYTC:
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... The project you referenced in your question is in the early stages of planning.  The Recommended Highway Plan has money set aside for its construction in 2019.  This is a target construction date and at this time we are uncertain as to if that date is realistic or not.

Valentine also spoke about trying to shave costs by shortening the new terrain Henderson approach to the bridge:

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Kentucky’s six-year road plan, which guides all state highway construction, provides $1 million to study ways to make the bridge more affordable and Valentine said he thinks costs can be shaved, but a toll might be necessary.
The preferred corridor branches off from the Pennyrile Parkway south of Henderson “what I consider way early,” which will require the construction of about nine miles of new highway at a cost of about $10 million a mile. He said highway officials will look at branching off closer to Henderson.

edit

A more recent version of the above-quoted article has Valentine providing more of an explanation of why he would consider altering the route of the Henderson new terrain approach:

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Having two controlled access highways paralleling one another in that stretch doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, he said, so highway officials will be looking at branching off closer to Henderson.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 09:41:08 AM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Standalone Traffic and Toll Forecast For I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #121 on: April 26, 2013, 12:28:52 AM »

In the recently completed I-69 Innovative Financing Study Final Findings and the Executive Summary, the Final Findings set forth a standalone traffic and toll analysis for the I-69 Ohio River Bridge (pp. 26-27, 45 of pdf; pp. 21-22, 40 of document):

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... a separate standalone forecast was developed for SIU 4, which includes a bridge across the Ohio River. The standalone forecast is based on the assumption that the remaining segments of I‐69 are open to traffic. The limits of this standalone project include only the new alignment component of SIU 4, which includes 1.4 and 7.8 miles of roadway approach in Indiana and Kentucky, respectively, and the 4‐mile bridge. Although the bridge is entirely within the state of Kentucky, per preliminary discussions between Kentucky and Indiana, Kentucky will assume 2/3 of the bridge cost, and Indiana will assume the remaining 1/3. Based on these discussions, toll revenue was also divided between the states following this methodology.
Below are the major assumptions for the tolled traffic and toll revenue forecasts:
1. Opening year is 2025
2. Assumes all ETC (transponder and video) and all vehicles pay a toll
3. Toll gantries are located approximately every 20 miles
4. Toll rate:
o Analysis assumed a 2011 per mile toll rate of $0.15 per mile for passenger cars, which equates to $0.227 per mile in 2025 dollars (assuming 3 percent annual inflation). The analysis assumed that the toll rate will be consistent along the entire corridor and that trucks with more than two axles will be tolled at the (N‐1) axles × passenger car rate.
o Analysis assumed a bridge toll rate of $2.50 per trip in 2012 dollars
5. Toll rate escalation is 3.0 percent annually
....
a separate analysis was conducted for SIU 4 as a standalone project. Consistent with a similar study conducted in 2008, the scope of the standalone scenario included only the new bridge and approach portion of SIU 4. Therefore, the existing roadway in Indiana that will likely require minimal upgrades was not included in the scope of the standalone scenario. The results of the SIU 4 standalone scenario are presented in Table 16. The results for the SIU 4 corridor scenario are provided in Table 16 for comparative purposes.
As noted in Table 16, the feasibility ratios decrease significantly for Indiana in the standalone scenario relative to the corridor scenario. The primary reason for this reduction is that there is a significant drop in revenues with the removal of the existing segment in Indiana under the standalone scenario and only a minimal cost reduction. As previously stated, the cost to upgrade the existing segment is anticipated to be minimal. The cost reduction occurs due to the exclusion of a toll gantry that is included on the existing section under the corridor scenario.
The Kentucky feasibility ratio remains consistent across the two scenarios although there is a slight increase in the 2012 project cost. The similar ratios occur because the project scope for the Kentucky portion of SIU 4 is essentially the same under both the corridor and standalone scenarios. The slight increase in cost under the standalone scenario occurs because the host system costs, while less overall for the standalone scenario than the corridor scenario, are shared by two rather than seven states.



A Table of a Summary of Sufficiency of Toll Revenues to Fund Life Cycle Costs for the I-69 states that may toll can be found in this post.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 10:00:48 PM by Grzrd »
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US 41

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #122 on: May 13, 2013, 08:44:23 AM »

I think the Ohio River Bridge needs to be cancelled. People have been driving the US 41 bridge for years. Who cares if it doesn't have wide enough shoulders? If you can't stay in your lane you shouldn't be driving. Eventually when the bridges need redone, you can put them under construction an do what their doing in Louisville. Building brand new bridges would be a waste of money.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:49:50 AM by US 41 »
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JMoses24

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #123 on: May 13, 2013, 09:06:55 AM »

I think the Ohio River Bridge needs to be cancelled. People have been driving the US 41 bridge for years. Who cares if it doesn't have wide enough shoulders? If you can't stay in your lane you shouldn't be driving. Eventually when the bridges need redone, you can put them under construction an do what their doing in Louisville. Building brand new bridges would be a waste of money.

Not trying to be contentious, but... "Who cares"? Really?

Here's the thing... yes, if you can't stay in your lane you shouldn't be driving. But not having wide enough shoulders means safety hazards when there is a breakdown. One only needs to look upriver, at the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, to see what can happen when there are no shoulders and a breakdown occurs:

http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20120103/NEWS/301030161/Brent-Spence-bridge-victim-alive-when-he-hit-water?odyssey=mod%7Cmostview
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #124 on: May 13, 2013, 02:27:16 PM »

I think the Ohio River Bridge needs to be cancelled. People have been driving the US 41 bridge for years. Who cares if it doesn't have wide enough shoulders? If you can't stay in your lane you shouldn't be driving. Eventually when the bridges need redone, you can put them under construction an do what their doing in Louisville. Building brand new bridges would be a waste of money.

Not if is an Interstate-grade bridge that would increase capacity and is part of a national, if not international corridor...which the existing US 41 bridge most certainly ISN'T.

I guess you would have urged the people in the Tampa Bay area to simply rebuild the old Sunshine Skyway bridge the same way after it was hit and collapsed??
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