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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Ohio River Bridges Project is already costing Kentuckiana taxpayers more than $2 billion, but transportation leaders just added $10 million more to the pot. Now they want your input on how to spend it.
Darrell and Lee Allen James keep photos because the picture outside their Utica homes changes with every passing day. Darrell James explains, "I've been here 50 years and it's good to go back and look at things that was and how things that were."
The father and son live in the last house off of Old Salem Road before you run into what will become I-265. Lee Allen James says, "Every morning I get up about 5:30 and I see that same white truck come up the hill and they're ready to start and go to work."
INDOT wants to hear from the James family and their neighbors as it starts to develop the aesthetics on the Indiana approaches to the new Ohio River Bridges. That involves planting, lighting, fencing, monuments and signs. Contractors and designers will present the gateway renderings during an open house next Tuesday.
"It just makes it a pleasing bridge and a welcome for people to get off of the interstate," says Max Rowland, Walsh Construction Project Manager.
But when asked whether he thinks public opinion matters in the bridges project, Darrell James answers flatly, "No." His chief complaints are traffic and construction noise.
But Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore says public input is the driving force behind the bridges: "The last thing that I wanted to see was a bunch of concrete and speed limit signs."
INDOT came forward with $8 million for the approaches after Jeffersonville leaders claimed Kentucky's side would be more appealing. Jeffersonville must come up with a $2 million match.
Mayor Moore emphasizes, "Well it's a redevelopment project. Their tax dollars are already there. This is nothing new on the taxpayer."
The Jameses say they will be at the meeting, if nothing else to take some pictures.
The first Open House on aesthetics is set for 5 to 7 p.m. on October 22nd at the John Nobel Woods Utica Community Center.
You can have your questions answered and submit your ideas.