Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner has unveiled his “Five ideas for Louisville’s future.” For more on those, see below.

The second idea is to begin construction on the east-end bridge (over the Ohio River) by the end of the first term of the new administration. Heiner said in a press conference that the EEB would reduce traffic downtown, but he still wants to build a downtown bridge.

“We need a downtown bridge,” he said. “It has 130,000 vehicles a day—it was built for 80 thousand. It’s unsafe—no safety lanes. It’s a choke point. We need to figure out a way to build that through some kind of streamlining process.”

But, Heiner added that the downtown bridge could be put off for a period of time to save costs. He also said the planned reworking of Spaghetti Junction could be ‘streamlined.’

“Half the cost of the project is Spaghetti Junction, and I think that’s the first place—if someone was taking a serious engineering look at streamlining to re-look at,” he said. “Can we use pieces of Spaghetti Junction to significantly reduce the cost of this project.”

Democratic candidate Greg Fischer‘s campaign spokesperson says Fischer supports building both bridges as soon as possible. He also sent this statement:

“The fact is I’ve been leading on these issues for the past year. The community’s priorities are creating jobs today and improving all neighborhoods throughout all the county,” Fischer said. “We need in our next mayor someone who puts our neighborhoods first. That’s why today I am announcing the opening of my Southwest headquarters at 9301 Dixie Highway and my West Louisville headquarters at 24th and West Broadway.”

Independent Jackie Green favors postponing both bridges in favor of better public transportation.

Here are Heiner’s five ideas, from the campaign:

  • Establish Louisville as An Energy Research Center for the Nation: Great cities need great research universities to provide seeds for new business.  We are a leader in medical research; however we need to lead in other areas as well.  Based upon a $20 million philanthropic contribution to the Speed School for Engineering, Governor Beshear established the Kentucky Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship at the University of Louisville. We must build upon this investment by aggressively supporting renewable and alternative energy research efforts at the University while leveraging the intellectual capital to implement discoveries into new businesses and attract new industry while providing a long term generator for job growth into the future.
  • Begin Construction on the East End Bridge by the End of the First Term: Facing uncertainty over whether Louisvillians will be asked to pay up to $3 in tolls to finance a “two-bridges” project, Hal is prepared to evaluate all options, including streamlining the project to an affordable level.  The time has come to move ahead with the East End Bridge, which will put hundreds of people to work in construction jobs and begin a project we have been planning for 41 years.
  • Complete the Southwest Regional Library in the First Term: Hal Heiner’s record on libraries has been clear and demonstrated to be on target. We can invest in new facilities for our community without new taxes. As Mayor, Hal will continue to pursue the vision he laid out during the library debate by committing to fund[1] and build the Southwest Regional Library during the first term of his administration.
  • Institute Spending Accountability for Metro Budgets: Metro Government tightened its belt during the lean times but the lesson we must learn is to keep it tight when times get better. Hal will institute a budget reform so that his budget recommendation is based upon current revenues[2] as opposed to projected growth that may or may not materialize.  If this reform had been in place since merger, Metro Government could have saved $95 million to go towards paying down debt and job creation.
  • Bring Metro Government into the 21st Century: Efficient and effective government is necessary to better meet the needs of residents while maintaining a commitment to a fiscally responsible budget. There are many things that can be done to get more output from Metro Government while keeping spending in check. Hal Heiner will establish performance metrics for Metro departments, institute lean six-sigma efficiency techniques into management practices, move us toward a paperless system in government and adopt mobile apps as a means of connecting people to the services they expect and pay for.