> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
The Ohio River Bridges Project: Where is our leadership?
Everyone knows the current Ohio River Bridges Project tolling plan is bad for Hoosiers. Hoosiers will pay four times as much in tolls as Kentuckians for new bridges, while Kentuckians will use the new Kennedy Interchange for free. Does this make sense? No, it does not.
Can the Ohio River Bridges Project tolling plan get any worse for Hoosiers? Yes and here is one way how it can get worse: The current tolling plan is based on Kentucky paying its part in six annual installments of $50 million. Kentucky is broke and they barely came to an agreement on a highway spending plan this year. In the future if Kentucky reneges on its $50 million, who do you think will pay it? Hoosiers will in doubled or tripled toll rates.
Here is how it will definitely get worse: Even if Kentucky pays its full part over the next six years, tolling will not remain at the “advertised prices.” The revenue projections that the Ohio River Bridges Project tolling is based on are best-case scenarios that are proposed to “sell to a financer” by a company that has previously bankrupted a toll road by overestimating traffic counts and revenues.
When the actual traffic numbers do not deliver projected revenues and the bond payment is short, tolls will be increased accordingly. The Ogle Foundation’s survey found that the tolled bridges will have drastically reduced traffic locally.
So, where is our leadership? Why then does not our upper-level leadership — governor, senators, congressman, state senators and representatives demand a Hoosier-friendly project not including the unaffordable Downtown Bridge, or at least equality in this projects tolling. There is not even movement from Indiana to get the unnecessary $300 million tunnel removed. Our elected have reached out so far to grab the ring — the East End Bridge — that they have leaned out of their seat.
It would be prudent of them to get back in their seat and take another look at this project and fix what is broken for Indiana. If they think that more changes will slow down the current project, then they better get to work to speed up the changes.
They have been sitting back while Kentucky drives this project for far too long now and it is time for our Indiana elected to take the wheel before it’s too late.
— Paul Fetter, Clarksville, Organization for a Better Southern Indiana Inc., Clarksville Town councilman
Jeffersonville should consider 10th St. reflectors
Though the lovely shrubbery up and down the stretch of 10th Street is slightly pleasing on the eyes — when not trampled by car accidents — the city seems to remain blissfully unaware that much of Jeffersonville’s main stretch is in desperate need of reflectors on the street lines.
In the event of nighttime rain, the lines can become practically invisible, especially around White Castle, where the lanes briefly swerve. With funds going to decor and dreams of canals past, a practical expenditure that is years overdue should be considered.
— Jacob Dunman, Jeffersonville