Bridge Closing Costs $500 Million a Year

Louisville is lucky the Sherman Minton Bridge is a low traffic Interstate bridge.
Using some hyper-conservative figures and 5 year old data the LBR has determined the true economic impact of closing I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge could easily be well over $500 million dollars!!! Raw numbers and calculations below. Also according to the EPA’s own 2006 Air Quality reports the Kennedy Bridge is already way over max capacity despite what INDOT and KTC are reporting. Diverted Sherman Minton Bridge traffic now reroutes to the I-65 Kennedy Bridge. Thus endangering our Particulate Matter compliance and causing unhealthy air quality along the backlogged I-65 Spaghetti Junction corridor.

There are many things we are not being told about the bridges

The EPA states the Louisville Interstate system can only push 300,000 vehicles a day without endangering downtown air quality. Adding a six lane sister bridge to the Kennedy will not improve traffic and air quality because I-65 corridor is so poorly designed with sharp curves and steep elevations. The original 1950’s plan for I-64 was for it to pass south of Louisville ultimately connecting West Point, KY with Georgetown, IN. The Gene Snyder Freeway now runs along that route without a bridge. The original 1950’s plan for I-71 was to cross the river at the current east end bridge location and passing north of Louisville. The original purpose of I265 and I264 was to connect I-71 with I-64. This would have created the inner and outer traffic rings with Downtown, East and West End Bridges. Funding has been available for years to enable local access bridges. However some unknown reason John Yarmuth and Jerry Abramson used their power and influence to deny us those options. Instead of up to 5 LA bridges for less than $500 million get get a long delayed $4 billion dollars federal boondoggle.

Louisville, KY and Southern Indiana lose over $1 million a day?
Simply put, the closed I-64 Bridge costs the Louisville area $1,000,000 a day. That is a grand total of $243,216,000 for the estimated length of construction and emergency repairs to the Sherman Minton Bridge. The $20,000,000 project itself will not extend the life of the bridge itself. Only ensure the bridge can survive until the end of its projected max lifespan. At the conclusion of the repair project the area will only be resetting a 20 year clock for a mandatory replacement.

Special interest groups and private agendas impact the data.
Without access to current data we had to conduct an initial economic impact analysis on relatively conservative data. To be perfectly honest the true economic impact on Louisville Metro will probably never be calculated. Due to the divergent interests of River Fields, 8664, ORBP and KIPDA the base data appears to have been polluted to project their desired end-state findings. Therefore our initial calculations are based on the 2006 EPA Air Quality study which estimated an average of 300,000 vehicles per day in the downtown Louisville area.

Bridge Detour Economic Impact Assumptions / Calculations
Baseline Factors for Daily Estimate:
Fuel Cost Estimate – $3.50 a gallon, no adjustments for type
Traffic Estimate- 80,000 Sherman Minton Bridge Users, 20,000 Clark Memorial Bridge users, 200,000 Kennedy Bridge users. Per 2006 EPA Air Quality Study.
Total Delayed Vehicles – 100,000
Commercial Traffic – 60,000 heavy trucks
Average Truck Driver Cost – $15 hourly
Average Additional Idling – 30 minutes
Average Detour – 10 miles
Police Officers manning route – $50 per hour, 21 during peak periods, 8 during off periods.
Inspection Period: 30 days
Bidding Period: 30 days
Repair Time: 180 days


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