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Recently, Governors Steve Beshear and Mitch Daniels reached a deal that could see construction of two new Ohio River bridges begin later this year.
The heart of the plan calls for the two states to share the $2.6 billion expense to build the bridges and pay for the related projects that will untangle Louisville's infamous Spaghetti Junction and carve a new traffic and business corridor between Utica, Indiana and Louisville's eastern suburbs. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer anticipates 5,000 new construction jobs.
Hallelujah! Yet, progress, prosperity and new jobs for some usually necessitate painful sacrifices by others. Remember the Louisville airport expansion? The sacrificial lambs in the path of massive public projects do get paid -- something -- and so some may say they've got no beef. Moreover, they're being dislocated for a greater good.
Easy to say, if you've never been a lamb.
Meanwhile, the bridges project has been controversial from the start, and some players haven't comported themselves very well. There's been finger pointing, name-calling and even, I'm told, threats of bodily harm to members of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority. They're volunteers, for goodness sakes. No wonder it's difficult at times to inspire citizens to unpaid public service.
As for the bridges, Larry the Cable Guy probably would say, "Git ‘er done." And I say, let the bridges be worthy of the sacrifices many make when communities go through growing pains.