A $30 million dollar transportation project in Ind. could be a r - WDRB 41 Louisville News

A $30 million dollar transportation project in Ind. could be a roadway to economic growth

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The East End Crossing, River Ridge Commerce Center and the Port of Indiana are some of Indiana's most prized possessions -- and a new project will soon connect the three in the hopes of generating billions of dollars.

“This is one of the most exciting industrial development regions in the United States of America," said Ind. Governor Mike Pence, who sees potential in land that will soon be covered in pavement.

"Roads mean jobs.  And I don't mean road jobs.  You create the right infrastructure, you have the right vision like we’re implementing today with this transportation corridor.  You create the conditions where businesses do what businesses do,” Governor Pence said.

The new transportation corridor is a connector between the port, the new bridge and the commerce center. It includes a wide heavy haul road, allowing easy access to transport raw materials from the port to the commerce center.

Any assembly plant that would require metal and steel would likely have a direct connection to the port. It would be very, very beneficial and result in cost savings,” said Jerry G. Acy, executive director for the River Ridge Commerce Center.

The east end bridge will also lead drivers directly to the heavy haul road. Indiana officials say future business owners will see this land as a gold mine.

"When companies look to expand in a new location, they want to know that there's land available, that there's a workforce available and that there’s infrastructure that connects to their markets,” said One Southern Indiana President Wendy Dant Chesser.

But the road is just phase one of the project. The rail portion could begin once the first phase is complete.

It's all a part of a major plan to maximize opportunities at River Ridge, which brought in $1.3 billion to the state last year

With the new transportation corridor, officials expect that number to double within the next five years.

The heavy haul road project should be complete by Fall 2016.

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