A southern Indiana group raising money to challenge downtown tolling included in the Ohio River Bridges Project may delay filing a lawsuit this month against the federal government’s record of decision earlier this year.
The Jeffersonville City Council agreed this week to add $10,000 to the fund created to challenge tolling the two I-65 bridges as proposed in the plan. The Clarksville Town Council and the Clark-Floyd Counties Tourism Bureau have also approved $10,000 each to help pay legal fees.
While the group is not against building the bridges, it does argue they would negatively impact southern Indiana businesses and residents.
But tolls haven’t been set yet and Clarksville councilman Paul Fetter says there’s already a lawsuit filed by the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation—CART—already challenging the federal government’s record of decision.
“We still haven’t figured out the particulars of where we’re going to go yet,” said Fetter.
WFPL previously reported the group was considering challenging the record of decision, but the Indianapolis law firm representing the group—Mark Sullivan and Associates—has advised they may want to consider waiting until tolls are finalized to file a case, Fetter said.
“Since the tolling was not part of the record of decision, our legal team thinks that there’s another level to go rather than filing against the record of decision,” he said.
Tolls are planned to be set by a bi-state tolling body, but there has been no timeline announced for when they plan to begin or end their work.
Fetter said the goal is to raise $20,000 more in private funds to support a total of $50,000 of legal fees. Mark Sullivan and Associates has agreed to work for free on the group’s behalf if the cost should exceed that amount, he said.
Preliminary reports say tolls could range from $1 for regular commuters, $2 for cars, $5 for commercials vehicles and up to $10 for larger trucks.