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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

  • Booklet No. 4, Kentucky-Indiana Bridges, The Facts is a study of the underlying facts relative to our current bridge program. As a professional engineer, I know that designing solutions is easy when the facts are known. The great political debate over what direction the current program should take arises from hiding the facts from the public. Reveal the facts and the confusion disappears.



When the facts are made known; the solutions are obvious.


FACT #1 - 94,560 vehicles/day cross the Sherman Minton Bridge (136 % capacity)[1], cite INDOT p.9

FACT #2 – 101,940 vehicles/day cross the Kennedy Bridge (103 % capacity)[2] 2000 count, cite INDOT p.35

FACT #3 – 95,000 vehicles/day travel I-64 east of the Kennedy Bridge to I-264 (163 % capacity)[3], cite KYDOT p.12

FACT #4 – 122,000 vehicles/day travel I-65 south of the Kennedy Bridge to I-264 (145 % capacity)[4] cite KYDOT p.13

FACT #5 – 177,000 vehicles/day travel I-264 east (Watterson) of I-65 to Newburg Road (177 % capacity)[5], cite KYDOT p.14

FACT #6 – KYDOT estimate that 31,900 vehicles/day will cross the new East End I-265 bridge (37 % capacity)[6] cite KYDOT p.30

FACT #7 – Louisville traffic is primarily a local commuter caused issue; not an interstate travel issue. Only 43,000 / 196,500 = 22 %[7] of the bridge traffic is interstate travel and 70% of the interstate traffic is on I-65 going north-south.

  • I-65, 30 miles north of Louisville 30,000 vehicles/day, cite KYDOT p.13
  • I-64, 30 miles west of Louisville 13,000 vehicles/day, cite KYDOT p.12
  • I-71, 30 miles east of Louisville 26,000 vehicles/day, cite KYDOT p.15
  • I-65, 30 miles south of Louisville 35,000 vehicles/day, cite KYDOT p.13
  • I-64, 30 miles west of Louisville 30,000 vehicles/day, cite KYDOT p.12

FACT #8 – 69,000 vehicles/day travel I-64 between the Sherman Minton & Kennedy Bridges ( 93 % capacity)[8], cite KYDOT p.12

FACT #9 – Building the Kentucky-Indiana Bridge and Spaghetti Junction program is not a total cure to the I-65 & I-265 Louisville traffic issue

FACT #10 – TARC wants light rail now along I-65 south of the Kennedy Bridge to Brooks exit, cite,

FACT #11 – 72,000 vehicles/day feed onto I-65 from north Bullitt County, cite KYDOT p.13

FACT #12 –94,560 vehicles/day travel I-64 between the Kennedy & Sherman Minton (136 % capacity) cite KYDOT p.12, that “86”64 impractically wants to eliminate. Forcing this traffic onto I-65/I-265 in Southern Indiana adds 5 to 10 miles to these commuters’ travel and increases I-265 traffic volumes in Southern Indiana from 45,000 vehicles/day (80 % capacity)[9] to become 139,000 vehicles/day (315 % capacity)[10] cite p.9.


OBVIOUS SOLUTION #1 – I-65 at Kennedy needs new bridge (103% capacity)

OBVIOUS SOLUTION #2 – I-64 between the Kennedy and Sherman Minton is necessary (93% capacity). I-265 in Southern Indiana cannot take the strain (315% capacity) if I-64 is eliminated along the river.

OBVIOUS SOLUTION #3 – East End Bridge is foreseeable but not necessary to current program (37% capacity)

OBVIOUS SOLUTION #4 – Light rail along I-65 (south of Kennedy), I-64 (east of Kennedy), and I-264 (east of I-65) is now needed as part of comprehensive solution (145%, 163%, and 177% capacities, respectively):

OBVIOUS SOLUTION #5 – I-64 at Sherman Minton needs new bridge (136% capacity)

OBVIOUS SOLUTION #6 – West End Bridge on I-265 is not needed



#1 – Light Rail to address crowding on I-65 and I-64 south of the river

#2 – New downtown Ohio River Bridge on I-65

#3 - Expansion of Sherman Minton Bridge on I-64

#4 – New east end bridge on I-265


Louisville’s traffic problem is not only (or primarily) a bridge problem or even a spaghetti junction problem; the real traffic tie up starts south and east of there. I-64 east of Louisville is way over capacity before it gets to spaghetti junction. Not to say that Louisville does not need new bridge capacity; it does on both of the I-65 and I-64 bridges. However, what Louisville needs even worse is what TARC was studying in 2003; a light rail transit solution to I-65 and I-64 south of the river.

The East End Bridge is foreseeable; however, it is not an important part of the current solution. I-64 along the river front is too critical to remove, unfortunately. The current as-planned KY-IN Bridge/ Spaghetti Junction $3.9B program will not cure Louisville’s traffic problems. A modified more comprehensive solution is required to address the above priorities. Add light rail, add capacity to the Sherman Minton and, if necessary, delay the east end bridge.

Let the facts drive the then obvious solution.

[1] ((94,560-13,000 interstate) /6 lanes)/10,000* x 100 = 136% (*) FHWA optimum at 2,000/lane/hour

[2] ((101,940-30,000 interstate) / 7 lanes) / 10,000 x 100 = 103%

[3] ((95,000- 30,000 interstate) / 4 lanes) / 10,000 x 100 = 163%

[4] ((122,000- 35,000 interstate) / 6 lanes) / 10,000 x 100 = 145%

[5] ((177,000 – 0 interstate) / 10 lanes) / 10,000 x 100 = 177%

[6] ((31,900 – 10,000 interstate*) / 6 lanes*) / 10,000 x 100 = 37% (*) assumption

[7] (30,000 + 13,000) / (94,560 + 101,940) x 100 = 22%

[8] ((69,000 – 13,000 interstate) / 6 lanes / 10,000) x 100 = 93%

[9] ((45,000 – 13,000 interstate) / 4 lanes / 10,000) x 100 = 80%

[10] ((139,000 – 13,000 interstate) / 4 lanes / 10,000 x 100 = 315%

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