News and Tribune

Floyd County

July 18, 2013

The path for bridges is cleared

Federal court dismisses CART lawsuit

(Continued)

LOUISVILLE —

CART will be considering its options, according to the statement.

“In the final analysis, Judge Heyburn did not rule on whether the Bridges Project was good or bad transportation planning, but only if the agencies met the procedural rules of NEPA and other legal claims raised in the action,” Coyte said in the statement. 

The lawsuit involving the National Trust for Historic Preservation and River Fields was resolved when a settlement agreement was reached between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation to dedicate $1.7 million to a historic preservation and enhancement fund. 

It was agreed that the money was to be split between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and INDOT.

In Indiana, a large portion of the funding went to relocate five homes in Jeffersonville’s downtown historic district that were slated for destruction as a result of the bridges project.

The only remaining legal challenge to the bridges project was CART’s suit.

“INDOT is pleased that the district court has upheld the decision to approve the project,” said INDOT Spokesman Will Wingfield in an email. “Earlier this year, INDOT together with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet worked with River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to resolve claims and concerns relating to the project, and now construction has finally begun.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet also issued a response to the ruling that clears the path for the bridges project.

“Judge Heyburn’s ruling affirms what the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has always believed — that extraordinary care has been taken throughout this project to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws,” according to the statement issued by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Chuck Wolfe. “The Ohio River Bridges Project will bring about numerous, badly needed improvements to cross-river mobility between Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Transportation Cabinet looks forward to continuing that work.”

Both Kentucky and Indiana’s transportation agencies and the states respective contractors have begun construction of the overall plan to build a new northbound Interstate 65 downtown bridge, reconstruct Spaghetti Junction and construct an east-end bridge that will connect I-265 in Utica and Prospect, Ky.

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