U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., addressed final approval of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project by the federal government.
The Federal Highway Administration announced Wednesday it will allow Kentucky and Indiana to charge motorists a fee to use Interstate-65 (Kennedy Bridge) and the two new spans that are schedule to be built.
Details on tolling are still being worked out, but Yarmuth sidestepped that portion of the press release and rather focused on looking forward to the first phase.
From Yarmuth's office:
“This is the final signature needed from the federal government to begin construction of the Bridges Project,” Yarmuth said. “I received personal assurances from Transportation Secretary LaHood and President Obama that the federal approval process would be expedited, and they have followed through on those commitments. Nothing else stands in the way of construction, and I look forward to breaking ground on the East End Bridge later this month.”
Asked about his thoughts on the tolling provision, Yarmuth spokesman Stephen George said the congressman supports the plan to pay for the new infrastructure.
“It's clear that, without tolling, the two states cannot finance the bridges project,” he says.” Congressman Yarmuth supports the finance plan.”
The project is scheduled to begin August 30.