The Indiana Department of transportation – or INDOT -- is the agency in charge of constructing the northern approach to the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge.And even though the Kentucky side opened to traffic long ago, the span’s Jeffersonville connection still hasn’t.
After finally announcing an opening date of April 30, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore has since been told by INDOT that -- because some minor lighting and railing work is incomplete -- if he opens the bridge without their final approval, the agency will pull its contractor off the job and take away the eight million dollars in federal funds allocated to the project.
Moore has responded that INDOT has simply been dragging its feet and acting like a bully -- and I think he’s right.
From the start, INDOT has approached its end of this job with an appalling lack of urgency. It’s inconceivable that their progress on the project could fall more than a year behind Kentucky’s in the first place. And now that construction is virtually complete, their refusal to allow the Mayor to simply use temporary lighting and safety rails to allow the approach to open before Derby smacks of nothing more than a power play.
This is a classic case of a bloated bureaucracy placing itself above the people it’s supposed to serve.And Mayor Moore and the city of Jeffersonville deserve more respect.