The spokesperson for the planned Ohio River Crossing bridge project in southwest Indiana says tolling has emerged as a top issue throughout the public input process. Mindy Peterson tells Inside INdiana Business "unless there’s a magic pot of money that is found somewhere, a new I-69 bridge will be tolled." She says the project team is still in information-gathering mode and questions including whether U.S. 41 will be tolled in the future will be sorted out by transportation decision-makers in Indiana and Kentucky.
Peterson says plans remain on-schedule and a preferred alternative is expected to be announced in the fall. She says other questions cropped up in recent months. "We hear from many residents that it’s important to keep at least one U.S. 41 bridge in service," she said. West Alternative 1 and Central Alternative 1 both call for retaining the current southbound U.S. 41 bridge, but West Alternative 2 would take the existing northbound and southbound U.S. 41 bridges out of service.
Peterson adds several factors caused the estimated cost of three preliminary alternative routes to rise. She says higher construction costs and additional complexity of the projects from a more in-depth analysis of the work led to tweaks to the possible prices. The revised estimates for the three preliminary alternatives are:
- West Alternative 1: $1.81 billion
- West Alternative 2: $1.68 billion
- Central Alternative 1: $1.5 billion
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Ohio River Crossing project team spokesperson Mindy Peterson says plans remain on-schedule and a preferred alternative is expected to be announced in the fall.