FHWA cleared the way for Kentucky and Indiana to move forward with a $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges project by approving its environmental review. The announcement is a major step toward construction scheduled to begin later this year.
Working together, Kentucky and Indiana will build a new I-65 bridge over the Ohio River, reconstruct the I-64/I-65/I-71 Kennedy Interchange and build a new SR-265 East End facility that includes a new bridge over the Ohio River and a tunnel connecting to the I-265 Gene Snyder Freeway.
The downtown Louisville portion, overseen by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, will increase I-65 capacity from eight to 12 lanes, build a new bridge with approaches and reconstruct the Kennedy Interchange where I-64, I-65 and I-71 converge.
The Indiana Department of Transportation will oversee construction of the East End Crossing, spanning the river between Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind.
According to Louisville, Ky., TV station WAVE-3, tolls will be collected on the new east end bridge, the new downtown I-65 bridge and the revamped I-65 Kennedy Bridge.
State officials estimate the six-year project will be one of the largest in the nation.
The FHWA also approved a plan for a toll bridge on Interstate 95 between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer
The toll bridge, which will have nine lanes and be 180 feet wide, will replace the free Scudder Falls Bridge that connects Pennsylvania's Bucks County to Mercer County, N.J.
Designs for the bridge still need to be finalized by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, and that could take another 18 months.
The Inquirer reports the new bridge wil feature an all-electronic toll system, and drivers who don't use E-ZPass for tolls will have a bill mailed to them.
Construction could start in September 2014 and last three to four years.