Democratic mayoral candidate Tyler Allen‘s campaign sent out an announcement today. It’s Allen’s response to a recent Courier-Journal editorial about the bridges project.
Still, the board should push ahead vigorously. The primary reason, of course, is that this is the most important civic undertaking in the metro region and is pivotal to the area’s economic future. Secondarily, the recession offers possibilities for substantial savings because of depressed engineering and construction costs.
While applauding the start of the panel’s work, meanwhile, the community should insist that candidates who aspire to city and state leadership fully embrace the bridges project. It was distressing, for example, to hear Democratic mayoral hopeful Greg Fischer say the other day that the effort should begin with a new East End bridge, with fixing Spaghetti Junction and building a new downtown bridge to come later.
It shouldn’t be necessary to repeat this for mayoral candidates, but here goes: The record of decision for the project is a done deal, arrived at after years of study and discussion and agreed to by a broad consensus of the political and business leadership in two states. It calls for both bridges to be pursued at the same time, and for good reason. The downtown bridge is needed primarily to meet the area’s transportation needs; the eastern span will be an economic development boon.
If the project is to move forward, it is imperative that the next wave of community leaders get with the plan.
From Allen’s response:
Must Louisville bury its downtown under a $2 Billion 23 Lane-Wide New Spaghetti Junction just to have the privilege of connecting I-265? Must Jeffersonville double the size of I-65 through its downtown just so its citizens can finally bypass downtown on a East End Bridge on their morning commute to work? The answer is ‘NO’. Let’s be clear, we cannot set our city back just because very powerful people do not want an East End Bridge.