Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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The Sherman Minton Bridge closure demonstrates why cross-river connections must be built sooner than later. As the federal process continues to build new interstate bridges, metro leadership should be innovative in getting our community moving forward again.
"Local Access Bridges" are a viable alternative that can be built now, within five years, for about $100 million each.
Local-access bridges encourage commuters to use the existing streets, which promotes urban revitalization, reduces congestion, and lessens air pollution. These bridges can include bus, bike, and pedestrian lanes.
Local access bridges could be built in southwest Jefferson County, connecting Riverport or Rubbertown to Indiana highway 111; between Portland and New Albany; and upriver near Frankfort or Zorn Avenues, or further upstream.
And, what if another existing bridge is damaged by a barge accident or a seismic event? We cannot delay any longer, and a local access bridge is inexpensive insurance against an unthinkable disruption
How do we fund these bridges? Louisville currently sends about two billion in revenue to the state, but receives back only one billion in state services. If local legislators could reclaim just 5% of this non-returned revenue, that would provide $50 million for half a bridge with Indiana paying the other half.
Our region is based on the logistics industry. We must have a superior transportation network to be competitive. Louisville needs both new interstate and local access bridges, sooner than later.
If we are truly a ‘Possibility City', then let's do what is possible – NOW!