Maintenance of downtown bridges and highways to be paid with tol - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Maintenance of downtown bridges and highways to be paid with toll revenue

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Walsh Construction crews are finishing up final projects in preparation of turning over Louisville’s new bridges and roads over to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Once that happens, the financial responsibility for operations and maintenance will also fall on KYTC.

When drivers started moving freely across the new downtown bridges, ramps and highways, the project wasn’t fully complete. There was still a “to do list” for construction crews to complete before turning everything over. That list included cleaning up graffiti, adjusting road signs, planting more grass or trees, fixing cracks and much more.

KYTC reviewed the work at the end of March and came up with a “punch list” of final corrective work that needs to be completed before approving a final inspection. That punch list was given to Walsh on May 5, and the company has 90 days to finish everything.

Steven Schauer, a spokesperson for Walsh, said the responsibility for graffiti removal on all concrete surfaces is already turned over to KYTC. Crews finished painting over and power washing all those surfaces before the Kentucky Derby. There are still some steel beams that have graffiti on them, but those are not yet in KYTC’s hands.

So drivers can expect to see Walsh crews, trucks and construction barrels out in the evening. A spokesperson for the company said workers will be fixing some cracks and making minor landscaping adjustments over the next two or three weeks. The company hopes to have the final punch list completed and the project turned over by the beginning of June.

When it becomes KYTC’s responsibility, paying for the operations and maintenance also transitions from Walsh to the state.

RiverLink spokesperson Mindy Peterson said operations and maintenance covers “everything from pothole repairs to snow removal to when you get to the point of long-term repairs.”

The Ohio River Bridges Project financial plan predicts it will cost nearly $2 million in 2017. The cost increases to nearly $5 million in 2019 and to over $10 million in 2047. These projected amounts are based on multiple studies, Peterson said. 

The money has to cover more than the Lincoln and Kennedy bridges.

“It’s the approaches. It’s all of the new roadway and both sides of the river,” Peterson said. “It’s all of the Kennedy interchange ... because all of that was reconfigured as part of the project.”

All of that funding is expected to come from tolls. Tolling revenue can only be used to pay for the financial obligations of the project and for the operations and maintenance.

“Whenever we have operations and maintenance, they will be coming from the KYTC road fund on a monthly basis," Peterson said. "That road fund is going to be reimbursed with toll revenue.

“If there were to ever be a time where there would be a shortfall, and that’s not anticipated, then KYTC would be responsible.”

The amount needed each month might fluctuate depending on the maintenance needs.

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Crews working long hours to clean up graffiti as Louisville awaits Derby visitors

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