Transportation officials in Indiana and Kentucky are planning public meetings as part of the effort gather input on the potential impact of tolls for the Ohio River Bridges project. The sessions are set for next week in Clarksville and Louisville. July 18, 2013

News Release

LOUISVILLE (July 18, 2013) – If you have opinions about lessening the impacts of bridge tolls on low-income and minority populations, the Ohio River Bridges Project wants to hear from you.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Indiana Department of Transportation committed to a more extensive analysis of potential economic impacts of using tolls, which will help pay for the new bridges and highways under construction as part of the Revised Record of Decision from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The Ohio River Bridges Project has published a draft assessment of the economic impacts of tolls on low-income and minority populations, including an evaluation of potential measures to mitigate disproportionate effects.

The project is seeking public input on the report and potential mitigation measures through a range of outreach methods, including open house meetings set for July 22 and 23.

The open house meetings will be held:

• Monday, July 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. EDT at the Holiday Inn Clarksville, 505 Marriott Dr., Clarksville, Ind.

• Tuesday, July 23, from 4 to 7 p.m. EDT at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, Ky.

For those using public transportation, the route information for Transit Authority of River City (TARC) is:

•July 22 meeting – Take TARC to the Spring Street stops at 14th or 15th streets in Jeffersonville, Ind. Shuttle to Holiday Inn Clarksville will be provided at that point.

•July 23 meeting – Take TARC to the Muhammad Ali & 17th Street stop.

At the meetings, people will have a chance to learn more about the project, plans for tolling and measures being considered to lessen the impacts of tolling on low-income and minority populations. Display areas will feature information boards, and project representatives will be on hand to talk one-on-one with citizens. Informational videos and handouts will be available.

Citizens can comment in a variety of ways at the meeting or any time before July 26:

• Online – Go to and click on the Downtown Links “News, Events and Alerts” or East End Links “Newsroom”

• Writing – Letters can be mailed to Bridges Project Research, 620 W. Main St., 4th Floor, Louisville, KY 40202

•Recording – Court reporters will be available at stations at the public meetings for anyone who wants to dictate comments.

• Comment forms – Comments can be personally written on forms that will be made available at the meetings.

Citizens are encouraged to read the draft report prepared by the states, DRAFT Assessment of Economic Effects of Tolling and Potential Strategies for Mitigating Effects of Tolling on Low-Income and Minority Populations (DRAFT Report). You can read the DRAFT Report online at or view a copy at the meeting or public library branches in Louisville, Jeffersonville and Clarksville. Copies have also been distributed to numerous community centers in the area.

Extensive outreach to seek comments from low-income, minority citizens

Continuing the Bridges Project’s long history of seeking public input, Kentucky and Indiana are reaching out to low-income and minority populations in a variety of ways to ensure they are informed and have a chance to comment on the impacts of tolling.

The states are conducting interviews with representative samples of community leaders and citizens in low-income and minority neighborhoods. Nearly 250 people have provided input through interviews to date.

These responses, along with the input from open house meetings, comment forms and other methods, will be incorporated into a FINAL report that will be submitted to FHWA and a bi-state Tolling Body, which will set toll rates.

Informational flyers, posters and copies of the DRAFT Report have been distributed in 47 locations including public libraries, community centers, churches and offices located in or near low-income and minority neighborhoods.

In addition to 19 public libraries, here are other community locations where you can find information about tolling and view the DRAFT Report:

Community Development Bank

2901 West Broadway, Louisville

St. Stephen’s Baptist Church

1018 S. 15th Street, Louisville

948 Dixie Hwy, Louisville

2701 Veterans Pkwy, Jeffersonville

Portland Community Center

640 North 27th Street, Louisville

California Community Center

1600 West St. Catherine Street, Louisville

Beechmont Community Center

205 West Wellington Avenue, Louisville

Parkhill Community Center

1703 South 13th Street, Louisville

Sun Valley Community Center

6505 Bethany Lane, Valley Station

South Louisville Community Center

2911 Taylor Boulevard, Louisville

Elim Baptist Church

3114 Greenwood Avenue, Valley Station

Urban League

1535 West Broadway, Louisville

Americana Community Center

4801 Southside Drive, Louisville

Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church

3201 Portland Avenue, Louisville


201 National Avenue, Jeffersonville

Northwest Neighborhood Place

4018 West Market Street, Louisville

Shawnee Golf Course

460 Northwester Pkwy, Louisville

Griffin Street Community Center

1140 Griffin Street, New Albany

Tolls limited to new and improved bridges

The states are paying for the Bridges Project with a combination of traditional transportation funding (gas tax revenues) and tolls. The Bridges Project plans to use only no-stop, all-electronic tolling to keep traffic flowing without toll plazas and coin buckets. Overhead cameras and electronic receivers will record all the vehicles that cross.

Tolls are planned for only the new and improved bridges – the East End Crossing and the Downtown Crossing, which includes a new I-65 northbound bridge and a revamped Kennedy Bridge for I-65 southbound traffic. The Sherman Minton Bridge (I-64) and Clark Memorial Bridge (U.S. 31) will not be tolled as part of the Bridges Project, providing two free river crossing options for drivers who wish to avoid tolls. The toll-free bridges are in close proximity to the largest concentrations of low-income and minority populations in both Jefferson and Clark/Floyd counties.

Tolls on the new and improved bridges will not be collected until 2016, and toll rates have not yet been determined. However, Kentucky and Indiana have set the following target rates for motorists using transponders:

• $1 per crossing for “frequent commuters” in passenger vehicles or on motorcycles

• $2 per crossing for cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles crossing the bridges infrequently

• $5 per crossing for panel or box trucks

• $10 per crossing for semi-trucks or tractor trailer rigs

DRAFT Report evaluates additional measures to lessen tolling impacts

The states have already committed to lessening the impacts of project construction and tolls by providing $20 million to the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) for enhanced cross-river bus service, including more than 20 new buses and vans and several park-and-ride lots. The DRAFT Report recommends consideration of exempting TARC vehicles from tolls.

Some other mitigation measures evaluated in the DRAFT Report focus on the availability and use of transponders – electronic, vehicle-mounted devices that record trips across a tolled bridge. Among the transponder measures recommended for consideration:

• Providing free transponders to maximize use and keep costs low

• Distributing transponders through retailers, such as grocery stores and markets; motor vehicle licensing offices; and other government offices convenient for low-income and minority populations

• Establishing “toll operations offices” within low-income and minori

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