Changes could be made to the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer are touting a proposed set of changes to the project. The changes would shrink the ORBP, but two new bridges and a revamped Spaghetti Junction would still be in the plan.

The leaders have proposed keeping Spaghetti Junction in its current location, making the east end bridge four lanes instead of six and cutting bike lanes from the proposed downtown bridge in favor of the pedestrian-only Big Four Bridge. The proposed changes could cut half a billion dollars from the project.

Both states and the bi-state Bridges Authority will host a conference next month to find other ways to cut costs. Mayor Fischer says that may satisfy those citizens who have said the $4.1 billion project is too expensive.

“The project is costly as it is right now,” he says. “But some preliminary things have identified at least a half billion dollars or so and I would certainly hope as we pull the best minds in the world together on this thing that we can save more money than that as well.”

Fischer also says tolls should not be placed on the Sherman Minton or Clark Memorial Bridges. The group Say No To Bridge Tolls has called the proposed changes a victory.  Members further hope no tolls will be placed on the Kennedy Bridge and that the project will be built in phases. The Bridges Authority previously opposed that suggestion.

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