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