Indiana Gov. Mike Pence pledged Wednesday that a new Ohio River bridge east of Louisville will be built under budget and on time, as decades of talk is turning into action with construction starting on the span that will connect Indiana and Kentucky.
Standing on a bluff overlooking a wide stretch of river where the East End Bridge will go up, Kentucky and Indiana officials applauded the cross-river cooperation that overcame financial obstacles for a project that has been discussed since the late 1960s. Pence said the bridge, carrying a construction price tag of $763 million, will promote job growth and opportunities that play to the region's strengths.
"It was a dream that two states could come together, could put aside regional competitiveness and political differences and accomplish something that would benefit all of the people of our region," Pence said. "Today that dream is finally beginning to become a reality."
After months of site preparation and pre-construction work, crews will begin actual construction work next week, officials said.
Repairs on a closed Ohio River bridge that runs between Louisville and Southern Indiana are about half way done. The Prime contractor handling the repair project says the work will be finished by the start of March.
Workers have been on the job seven days a week, twelve hours per day, to try to complete work on the Sherman Minton Bridge. The Interstate 64 span was closed in September after a crack was found on a steel support beam.