Friday, February 3, 2012

Bridges in Louisville

Kentucky and Indiana have plans to build two new bridges over the Ohio River at Louisville. Each state is to build one of the bridges, and each bridge is expected to cost $1.3 billion. According to this article in The Courier-Journal, Indiana has set aside a bit more than $400 million for its bridge, with the rest to be financed by tolls and a public-private partnership.

Using private money for a bridge would sound strange to most people nowadays, but the first bridges across the river, in my area at least, were built by private companies that used tolls to pay them off. If memory serves, a lot of the companies had trouble during the Depression, and the states took over ownership of the bridges.

But states have to find other revenue streams for bridge projects nowadays. A replacement or other bridge to ease congestion in Cincinnati is also expected to hit the billion-dollar mark, and even a smaller bridge in a smaller community can top $80 million.

Nobody likes tolls, but that may be the only way to go nowadays.

Or maybe not. Another source of money might be found. We'll have to see.

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