Tue September 4, 2012
Transportation Advocates Continue Suit Over Bridges Project
The Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (CART) has filed a new complaint against the Ohio River Bridges Project in federal court.
"The $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project will provide very little benefit, economic, social, environmental, or otherwise, to the vast majority of residents in the Louisville region and has significant negative economic, social and environmental impacts on the community as a whole, and particularly on people living in Louisville’s urban core and west end," says CART in a statement.
The filing is the latest in a years-long legal fight against the project. The preservation group River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation first filed suit against the federal government in 2009, alleging the government did not follow due diligence in approving the project. CART joined the suit the following year, and a stay was put on the case while authorities revised the project.
The revisions cut several lanes of traffic from the $2.6 billion two-bridge project, and the stay was lifted this summer. The plaintiffs had until Wednesday to amend their complaint, and they have vowed to continue their fight against the project, even as ground was broken last week on a road that is planned to be incorporated into the final project.
In the new filing, CART says the project, which will be paid for through bonds and tolls, will not leave enough available money for public transportation solutions.
The complaint filed Tuesday also says various state and federal authorities did not properly review alternative plans or the environmental or social effects of the project. In the accompanying statement, CART calls the project "a scheme to privatize the free interstate system and move business and jobs far from Louisville’s urban core."
Authorities have long disagreed with the lawsuit's assertions and have continued moving forward on the project as the court battle continues. A request for comment to the bridges authority was not immediately returned.