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June 18, 2013

Officials, kids break ground on downtown bridge

LOUISVILLE —

It’s a project that has been talked about for more than 40 years. But on Tuesday, the talking came to an end and the work got under way. 

“For 40 years, there’s been a lot more talking than doing on the Ohio River bridges,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “Today, we change that.”

State officials from Indiana and Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the cities of Jeffersonville and Louisville gathered at Waterfront Park in Louisville to celebrate the commencement of construction of the downtown bridge, a component of the Ohio River Bridges Project. 

“These bridges link more than just two banks of this historic river,” Beshear said. “They connect people. They create possibilities. They keep commerce flowing and jobs growing. They preserve our way of life and they promise a better tomorrow. My friends, the road to this region’s future starts here, and it starts today.”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was not in attendance, but was represented by Jim Stark, the deputy commissioner for innovative project delivery with the Indiana Department of Transportation. 

“Every morning, thousands of Southern Indiana commuters battle some of the state’s most congested roads and bridges to reach their workplaces across the Ohio River,” Stark said. “The state of Indiana is proud to be a partner with the commonwealth of Kentucky to build the first new bridge in downtown Louisville in 50 years. We can be proud that Indiana and Kentucky have come together to accomplish something that will benefit both states, and that all begins today.” 

Also in attendance from Indiana were state Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany), state Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville) and Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore. 

“The construction itself is exciting, and so are the jobs and all of the investment and other economic activity that we’re about to see,” Clere said. “It’s a very exciting time to live in the Louisville area.”

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