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    Just after 11 o’clock this morning, Mayor Greg Fischer and Kentuckiana governors announced cost-saving alternatives for the proposed Ohio River Bridges Project plans. The original plans, designed earlier this year, estimated the bridge reconstruction cost at $4.1 billion. The new, reduced estimated cost of the project dropped to $2.9 billion.

    According to reports from WAVE 3 News, the largest savings would result from:

    ·  Rebuilding the downtown Kennedy Interchange in place rather than moving it to the south – $800 million less.

    ·  Eliminating flyover ramps and making other design changes on the Indiana interstate approach to the newly expanded I-65 bridges – $215 million less.

    ·  Reducing the number of lanes on the East End bridge, roadway and tunnel from six to four – $174 million less.

    The people of Kentuckiana received Mayor Fischer’s full commitment to begin project construction in the next four years. The Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority is developing “a financing plan to close the funding gap and reduce the 12-year project timetable through public-private partnerships” (WAVE 3 News). This could further lower the estimated price for bridge construction.

    You can follow Mayor Fischer’s live tweets on Twitter at @louisvillemayor. More information about this story can be found here. Also, follow us on Twitter at @louisvillecom to get updates on this story along with other current events in Louisville.

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