December 5, 2016 – The East End Crossing portion of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project is scheduled to open to traffic Sunday, December 18 following an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony with project officials and a public caravan across the new bridge.
The long-anticipated 8 ½ miles of new road connects the eastern edge of suburban Louisville and an area just east of Jeffersonville, Ind. with its centerpiece 2,500-foot cable-stay bridge reaching across the Ohio River.
Because of a lack of public parking and limited accessibility to the area, space at the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be limited to project champions and officials that can be bused onto the site.
Public Caravan Planned
However, residents interested in being among the first to drive across the bridge may register online to participate in the police-escorted caravan that will occur at the conclusion of the ribbon-cutting. The first 500 registrants will be invited to arrive at a closed-off section of the newly completed Indiana 265 between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. As the ribbon-cutting ends, the 500 vehicles will be escorted by police southbound on Indiana 265 toward the new bridge. The police will lead the drivers across the bridge and into Kentucky.
Several hours after this ceremonial caravan crossing, the East End Crossing will open to the general public.
Residents can register on www.eastendcrossing.com/openingday beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 10. (Additional information regarding registration and caravan details will be released during the days to come.)
Participants in the police-escorted caravan will receive antique silver commemorative medallions (up to four per vehicle) with an etching of the new east end Ohio River bridge. The medallions will serve as the second in a “matching set” created for the Ohio River Bridges project. The first of the commemorative set was created for the December 2015 opening of the Lincoln Bridge, a six-lane bridge carrying I-65 northbound traffic across the river from downtown Louisville to Jeffersonville.
Government leaders from Indiana and Kentucky will participate in the ribbon-cutting. They will be joined by representatives of WVB East End Partners, the company charged with designing and constructing the East End Crossing. Additionally, many area residents who championed the decades-old concept of a new east end bridge will be on hand. Details regarding attendees and an event agenda will be released in the days to come.
About the Project
Substantial completion of the East End Crossing will provide several significant benefits to the Louisville and Southern Indiana area – including convenient access for residents commuting between eastern Jefferson County and southern Indiana. And for travelers passing through the Louisville area from the north or the south, the East End Crossing will be an alternate – and very accessible – route that bypasses the urban traffic of downtown Louisville.
The Kentucky approach to the new bridge extends Kentucky 841 (the Gene Snyder Freeway) from its previous termination at U.S. 42, adding a new four-lane (two northbound, two southbound) 1.4-mile section. This section includes a pair of 1,700-foot tunnels that carry Kentucky 841 traffic beneath U.S. 42 and the historic Drumanard estate. The Indiana approach, also four lanes, extends Indiana 265 (the Lee Hamilton Highway) four miles to the Ohio River from its previous termination at Indiana 62.
The bridge features two diamond towers rising 300 feet above the river, with 104 stay cables. It also includes a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Construction of the East End Crossing commenced in June 2013. The East End Crossing is part of the $2.3 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which also includes the construction of the Lincoln Bridge.
The Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Department of Transportation contracted the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the East End Crossing through an innovative public-private partnership with WVB East End Partners.