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Mon June 11, 2012
Indianapolis Star Asks Why Indiana Must Pay for Kentucky Tunnel
The Indianapolis Star has a lengthy piece on one controversial portion of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project...The $200 million tunnel under the Drumanard Estate in Louisville:
All that stands between Indiana taxpayers and $200 million in savings is 11 acres of woods in Kentucky. They are not particularly attractive trees. And their value is widely disputed -- even in Kentucky. But preservationists who wanted to stop an Ohio River bridge project decades ago were able to secure a historic designation for the property; and the bridge project is now moving forward. So Indiana is paying $255 million to bore a tunnel under the trees. It's a payment some say is necessary to preserve a narrow slice of history, others to preserve interstate harmony, and still others because, well, the rules are the rules. Changing them would take time.
Indiana and Kentucky agreed to split the cost of the project, with Indiana handling the East End Bridge and Kentucky footing the bill for the downtown span and reworked Spaghetti Junction. The piece in the Star (which is owned by Courier-Journal parent Gannett Company) details why the Drumanard Estate is deemed historic, and includes a graphical cost breakdown as well. Check it out.