Years in the making: Governors, mayors break ground on East End Bridge


by Gene Kang

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 1:01 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- It was a milestone groundbreaking for the Ohio River Bridges Project that took generations to achieve.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Congressman John Yarmuth, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and the mayors of Louisville and Jeffersonville bridged the gap at the Port of Indiana about a mile away from where the new East End Bridge will be built.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said: "In any big endeavor there will always be three people telling you why you can't get it done for everyone who dreams and believes."

1969, the year when people first talked about an East End Bridge -- Nixon was President and Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon - 43 years for this project to become reality.

The Moores said they never thought they'd see the day.

WHAS11: "In a few words or less what does the moment feel like right now?"
Nancy Moore, a commuter who attended the groundbreaking said: "Joy just plain joy."

Joy for government partnership and many new jobs.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said: "Thousands of men and women will descend on the banks of this Ohio River to build these bridges. Engineers and electricians, carpenters, trucks drivers, stone masons and many many more."

A construction contract was awarded last month for a 3,000 foot alignment of Old Salem Road ultimately extending from Utica to the River Ridge Commerce Center. The spot will be part of the first exit off the East End Bridge where the highway spills out on the Indiana side.

The East End Bridge will be built in 2017 along with reconstruction of the Kennedy interchange and another bridge next to the Kennedy. A $2.6 billion project will be paid for by electronic tolls and highway funds.