Community

Officials have announced that the new Ohio River bridge in eastern Jefferson County will open to traffic on Sunday, Dec. 18.

The cable-stay bridge will carry Interstate 265 traffic across the river between Prospect, Kentucky and Utica, Indiana. The project includes eight and a half miles of new road, and tunnels on the Kentucky side.

Spokesman Dan Hartlage says there will be a 2 p.m. ribbon cutting and a 500-vehicle caravan that will assemble on the Indiana side.

“At the conclusion of the ribbon cutting ceremony, those 500 people in their vehicle, and certainly anyone else who wants to be in those vehicles, will have the opportunity for a police escort across the bridge and into Kentucky,” Hartlage says.

Residents interested in being among the first to cross the bridge will be able to register online starting next weekend.

The bridge has not yet been named by officials in Indiana, which oversaw its financing and construction.

Hartlage says after all the ceremonies, it will be open to the public.

“It’ll be very late Sunday afternoon the 18th or perhaps early in the evening on the 18th before the roads are totally open to the general public,” he says.

The East End Crossing is part of the larger Ohio River Bridges Project, which includes the Lincoln Bridge in downtown Louisville and the reconfiguration of the Spaghetti Junction interchange.

A tolling system will be installed soon on the two new bridges and the refurbished Kennedy Bridge.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Managing Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.