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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing
Project Type
Roads and Bridges
Financing Type
Credit Agreement Executed
Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA), Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)
Project Description

The Downtown Crossing project includes a new bridge facility across the Ohio River, and associated roadway and facilities, connecting Louisville, Kentucky and Clark County, Indiana. The bridge will carry six lanes of northbound I-65. The existing Kennedy Bridge, located immediately downstream will be rehabilitated and reconfigured to carry six lanes of I-65 southbound. The project also includes improved and expanded approaches and the reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange between I-65, I-64, and I-71 in downtown Louisville.

The project is half of the bi-state Ohio River Bridges project, which also includes the new East End Crossing, also spanning the Ohio River eight miles to the north, connecting I-265/SR 265 in Indiana to I-265/KY 841 in Kentucky. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is leading the Downtown Crossing project and the State of Indiana is leading the East End Crossing project. The Downtown Crossing project is being delivered through a design-build contract between KYTC and Walsh Construction Co. awarded in November 2012. The Downtown River Bridge (and East End Bridge) will be tolled, which will back bonds sold by KPTIA to partially finance the project.

The project seeks to improve cross-river mobility and enhance livability, economic competitiveness, and safety in the region, which spans between Jefferson County, Kentucky and Clark County, Indiana. The project is expected to generate travel time savings valued at approximately $3.2 billion annually.

Project Details
TIFIA Assistance
Primary Revenue Pledge
User Charges
Project Cost
Fiscal Year Closed
Design-build team selection on November 15, 2012. Construction began June 18, 2013. Substantial completion occurred in November 2016.
Funding Sources
GARVEE Bonds: $334.6M
Project Revenue Bonds: $274M
TIFIA Loan: $452.2M
Toll Revenue Bonds $41M
Federal Aid Funds: $274.4M
State Road Funds: $76M
Project Delivery/Contract Method
Project Participants
Design-builder: Walsh Construction, Walsh Construction Co., Milestone Contractors, L.P., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. - Lead design, Buckland & Taylor Ltd. - Structural design, Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations - Public involvement
Project Advisers/Consultants
Oversight assistance (construction oversight, inspection, and quality control)

HDR, Inc.
Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.
FIGG Bridge Inspection, Inc.
S&ME, Inc.

TIFIA Legal Advisor - Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
TIFIA Financial Advisor - Scully Capital Services, Inc.
Project Lender
Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA
Credit Assistance Detail
Direct loan: $452.2 million. The TIFIA loan and the toll revenue bonds are backed by Kentucky's 50 percent share of the toll revenue generated from the combined Ohio River Bridges project.
Financial Status
The TIFIA credit agreement was signed in December 2013. Loan principal and interest payment began in 2018, and final loan maturity is expected to occur in 2051.
The Downtown Crossing is part of the Ohio River Bridges project, which also includes the East End Crossing eight miles to the east. Together, the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, a bi-state agency, has been responsible for the financing of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges. Kentucky is delivering the Downtown Crossing through a more traditional design-build contract, while Indiana has chosen to finance the East End Crossing through an availability-pay, public-private partnership. These innovative delivery approaches have combined significant cost savings.