River Fields push for the Downtown Bridge began in 1994
In 1994, as momentum for the East End Bridge was building, River Fields issued a press release unveiling their plan to fix Spaghetti Junction by building a Downtown Bridge. In the release, River Fields Board President James S. Welch Jr. asserted that the new design would "minimize impacts on downtown Jeffersonville and Louisville" and enhance Waterfront Park by "providing additional parking areas under the ramps." Seriously, it says that. Read Â theÂ Press Release.pdf.
Now we know the plan will widen Spaghetti Junction by 23 lanes and widen I-64 over the Great Lawn by 50%. In addition to being bad for downtown, it's also a $2.6 Billion drag on the Bridges Project which has delayed the East End Bridge for more than a decade.
Since 2006, the ORBP has received over $411 Million in funding allocations through 2010 from Frankfort. That amount is roughly half of Kentucky's cost for the East End Bridge. We must begin construction on the East End Bridge by making it the funding priority.