New interchange almost finished near site of East End Bridge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New interchange almost finished near site of East End Bridge

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JEFFERSONVILLE, In. (WDRB) -- The East End Bridge has the potential to bring tens of thousands of jobs to Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Construction work on an interchange is almost finished near the site of the East End Bridge.

The interchange will eventually carry drivers from the East End Bridge right through the River Ridge Commerce Center.

It is behind the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Jerry Acy, the executive director of River Ridge says the interchange will make a big impact. "From the Utica area, from the River Ridge area, from the Port (of Indiana), this will be the most direct access to the East End Bridge," Acy explained.

Acy says the interchange is about a mile or so from the future site of the East End Bridge--which will connect east Louisville to Utica, Indiana by 2016. "If you go probably over to that next rise around the curve there," he pointed, "you'll see the opening to the river which is already cleared out."

The interchange will eventually provide direct access to--and through River Ridge. WDRB was in the same spot last fall, when trees were being cleared. Now, a huge interchange is square in the middle.

The East End Bridge has literally put the River Ridge Commerce Center on the map. Acy says the location is prime for companies looking to expand -- or move. "It's almost a daily occurrence that we hear directly from a company."

About 5,000 jobs have already been brought to River Ridge with Amazon and other businesses. Acy anticipates up to a thousand more in the next two to three years--and there is plenty more room for business. "If you put that into context, we've only developed just under 500 acres out of the 6,000 acres that we have at River Ridge. The potential is for really, tens of thousands of jobs over time," Acy said.

A field behind River Ridge is filled with grazing cows, but the 1,000-acre site has the potential to become a megasite -- that could attract a huge company and lots of jobs.

"Something along the lines of an automotive assembly plant,  a high end manufacture of say construction equipment or some kind of steel operation," Acy said, adding that it could bring in several thousand jobs.

The land is getting prepped to be designated as a megasite to make it more marketable.
The interchange -- would provide direct access to it. "It's very exciting. it really opens up a whole different dimension for potential economic development, job creation," Acy added.

Acy says the megasite could bring several thousand jobs--but would first require a $1-2 billion dollar investment.

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