Construction moves along on tunnel for East End Crossing


by WHAS11

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 10:11 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Construction of the new East End Bridge Project is right on schedule according to the manager of the project. 

WVB East End Partners was awarded the bid for the East End Crossing back in 2012.  Work on the project began in June of 2013.  Project managers gave a one-year progress report at a Friday morning press conference.

 WVB East End Partners proposed to complete the project by October 2016 at cost of $763 million dollars.  The company is financing, designing, and constructing this project.  On Friday Project Manager Rob Morphonios called the project  “a success” thus far.  

WHAS 11 received video from the construction crew, showing their progress on the tunnel that will burrow under U.S. 42 and neighborhoods.

PHOTOS: computer OR mobile

 Morphonios said over a million yards have been excavated already.  Surface blasting and rock excavation will continue along Kentucky 841 from us 42 to the 71 interchange throughout 2014.  The intersection of near U.S. 42 and Kentucky 841 has been marked by traffic congestion and blasting noise.  

Kelly Duggins lives within 1,000 feet of the blasting zone and has been unhappy with the noise level.  

“A year ago we pretty much got our world rocked," she says.

 Columns for the section of bridge above Harrod’s Creek are coming out of the water.  Morphonios says the foundations are nearing completion. On the Indiana side, Morphonios says 5 or 6 bridges are underway right now and workers are getting ready to start 5 or 6 more. The past year has been spent designing the river bridge and getting those foundations in.

 Work on the project is done, on average, 6 days a week.  Workers in the area near the Gene Snyder and U.S. 42 have been blasting about two to three times a day.  Duggins said the blasting vibrations make it hard to sleep and the odor is unpleasant.  

"I'll just walk outside, smells like fire, sulfur, fireworks, you know like kids letting off smoke bombs but it's the blasting,” she said. Duggin added that dust clouds from excavation flies into nearby backyards. 

 Morphonios thanked residents for their patience.  He said that the progress will soon be visible to residents. 

“We're going to see a lot more bridges starting to come together on both the Kentucky and Indiana sides," he said. 

He said the past year has been spent  on designing and prep work.  

“This past year has been spent finessing our design and getting work that is either underground or underwater completed,” he said.