SLIDESHOW: Heavy lifting on East End bridge set to start next - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Heavy lifting on East End bridge set to start next week

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Animation of new East End bridge Animation of new East End bridge

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Two more hurdles were cleared Wednesday on the road to new Ohio River bridges.  One sight in particular has some of the biggest skeptics changing their mind on the project. 

On a bluff overlooking the Ohio River in Utica, Ind., Gov. Mike Pence ushered in the next phase of bridge construction, saying, "We're rolling our sleeves up and we're going to work and we're going to get this East End bridge done."

Building will soon begin on a new East End Bridge connecting Kentucky to Indiana on I-265.  Trees have been cleared during prep work over the past few months.

Officials say the heavy lifting starts next week near and on U.S. 42 and KY 841. 

"You'll see some traffic switches and the south portal of the tunnel being excavated," said Project Manager Sid Florey. "You'll see some trestles going into the water."

Meanwhile, Jeffersonville neighbors had to see to believe as crews moved a home from West Market to Mechanic Street to clear a way for the new Downtown Crossing.  

"That is the true start right there, and there are five more houses coming into the neighborhood," said neighbor Becka Christensen.

Neighbors say seeing a home moving through your community makes the Ohio River bridges seem like a reality. 

"It's pretty neat," said Alison Bell. "We need it."

The project includes two new bridges and a revamp on Spaghetti Junction costing more than $2 billion.

Governor Pence bragged that the East End Crossing is under budget.  But when asked if that could alleviate tolls, he replied, "We're going to continue to drive this project forward on time and under budget, but we'll do that in a way that respects the financing structure that's been put in place."

Nonetheless, Christensen admits she went from a bridge skeptic to a bridge believer. 

"When you go to the Ohio River and look across to Louisville, you can see they're moving dirt right beside I-65. We're moving houses. It's going to happen this time. I truly believe it."

Blasting on the East End Bridge project is also expected to start in June.  The target completion date for the bridge is October 2016.

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