May 2009 Archives

A Letter from Mayor Abramson

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The following was Mayor Abramson's response to a recent pro-8664 letter:

Dear "You",

Thank you for your correspondence on plans for building new bridges.

All three of our existing bridges would be carrying more traffic than they were designed to handle by 2030, based on a recent study. Our busiest bridge and a key link in our economic hub - the Kennedy Bridge (I-65) - would be 44 percent over capacity and the Clark Memorial Bridge would be 78 percent over capacity under the 8664 proposal, based on the study's traffic analysis. 

Our letter to Secretary Prather  outlined the inaccuracies in the study. For example, it assumes I-64 is widened through the Cochran Tunnel. According to the 2003 EIS, building just the East End Bridge will reduce Kennedy Bridge traffic by 30,000 vehicle/day.

These findings do not support the purpose of the Bridges Project, which is to address cross-river transportation needs in the region.

According to the EIS building only the East End Bridge will provide 10,700 more daily river-crossings than building only the Downtown Bridge.

The two new bridges and rebuild of Spaghetti Junction were approved as one project. To change course and build just the east end bridge would require additional studies that would take years to complete while our cross-river congestion and safety problems are not addressed and threaten the region's future economic prosperity.

Mayor Abramson insisted that the Downtown Bridge be part of the project. We can and should build the East End Bridge without "changing the course" of the Bridges Project.

Based on years of studies and debate including the KYTC study released last November, the evidence supports building two new bridges and rebuilding Spaghetti Junction. The entire project needs to be completed as quickly as possible so we can save on project costs and our region can realize the benefits - job growth, reduced congestion, safer roads and bridges and opportunity for more transportation options.

If we want to "save on project costs" and "realize the benefits" sooner, then we should pursue a better, faster and much cheaper alternative. 8664 is estimated to cost $2.2 Billion or roughly half the ORBP's $4.1 Billion.

Thank you again for your correspondence.

Mayor Jerry E. Abramson 

Mayor Abramson continues to say that the Downtown Bridge is more important for Kentucky, but Jefferson County residents don't agree. According to a January 2008 poll of 500 Jefferson County residents, the East End Bridge is preferred over a Downtown Bridge by more than a 2 to 1 margin.

According to today's Courier-Journal article, Kentucky won't issue $232 Million in bonds -- already approved by lawmakers -- because they don't have a clear future funding source. This is not surprising, considering the majority of the project ($2.6 Billion) is a downtown bridge and 23 lane Spaghetti Junction expansion that the community doesn't support.

Curiously missing from the article, is a quote from Mayor Abramson. You may remember that in his 2007 State of the City speech, Mayor Abramson said the Ohio River Bridges Project was his #1 priority.

Here's what we had to say in the article:

"The east bridge will reduce traffic congestion, improve our regional economy and it is supported widely on both sides of the river," said Tyler Allen, 8664's co-founder. "Only after its construction has begun can we have an open discussion about transforming downtown for the better."

If you're tired of delays and want to get something done, write the C-J and contact the Mayor and tell them it's time to build the East End Bridge.

Quest for the Livable City

View a short trailer for a film about Portland Oregon's 1969 adoption of an urban growth boundary. 40 years later, Portland is a model city in term of sustainability, but the "UGB" is not without critics. Portland: Quest for the Livable City will be airing on public television in May.

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: I see spagetti getting fatter, wider, bigger and taller. What read more
  • 8664: This is crazy. We don't even need another downtown bridge. read more
  • Larry Anas: The way I look at it: Q: Why are we read more
  • steven: Check it out, you guys won the 'your big idea read more
  • Kelly: Matt, My concerns about Hazmat are the same. I asked read more
  • paula metcalf: you can build a new arena and fund it but read more