98% of budget cut came from East End Bridge
On Tuesday the Beshear administration released a state highway construction plan that dramatically shifts the funding priority away from the East End Bridge.
According to the Ohio River Bridges Project ("ORBP") Financing Plan released in January of this year, the East End Bridge was to receive 62% of Kentucky's 2008 through 2010 funds. By contrast, the Governor's Road Plan for the same period slashes funding for the East End Bridge to only 27%.
In real dollars, the shift is even more stark and troubling. Due to budget constraints, the Governor's Road Plan reduced the States commitment to the ORBP by $236 Million, compared to January's approved ORBP Financing Plan. Of the $236 Million reduction, $231 Million or 98% was taken away from the East End Bridge.
Tyler Allen had this to say, "It's shocking to me that the one bridge this community fully supports and has been trying to build for over four decades isn't the clear funding priority. The citizens of this region need to speak up before our elected leaders make a monumental mistake." Mr. Allen was making reference to the expansion of Spaghetti Junction to 23 lanes and widening of I-64 over Waterfront Park.
8664 is a grassroots organization promoting a less expensive alternative to the ORBP that would build only the East End Bridge, reroute I-64 traffic away from downtown and remove the elevated expressway across Louisville's waterfront. The organization has over ten thousand supports.