My Crash Course in the ORBP Part 1

I went to the Holiday Inn on Hurstbourne Parkway last night as a boy of a correspondent, generally aware of the implications of the public forum on the Ohio River Bridges Project but somehow expecting to remain unblemished by the circus at hand. I left as a man…. with a headache.

Being a recent college graduate return to our fair city, I have tried to stay updated on the continuing saga on the ‘bridges that could’ but I’m suddenly aware of how serene it was to watch events unfold from a much safer distance. I experienced everything I expected to last night, hearing from project representatives and concerned citizens on both sides of the debate, but what I was completely unprepared for was the degree to which I was to be “sold” on the project itself.

Walking into the convention area of the Holiday Inn, I was at first asked to sign in with the other public speakers, but after identifying myself as part of the media I was quickly handed off to Bob Lauder, a VP at Doe Anderson public relations firm to be formerly introduced to the proceedings. As featured at the top of this post, I was shown to a conference room lined with various charts and statistics, replete with project representatives and engineers to explain them to me, that everything might suddenly become clear.

“Great,” I thought, thinking to come out on the other side an expert on the topic. “My brain!” I thought, coming out on the other side of the room 30 minutes later, my mind ready to burst with mock-ups and data.

Here’s is where I have to apologize for the lack of technical information in this piece, for I honestly feel I now know infinitely more, and yet understand infinitely less about the project as a whole. Jumping from one eager engineer or Doe Anderson representative to the next, I can’t deny that the underlying purpose of the project’s presentation was to inform, but I suspect that it might have also been to overwhelm.

If the intent of last night’s Kentucky-based forum on the Ohio River Bridges Project was to educate then I suppose it succeeded, but if it was also to induce understanding amongst its participants then I can’t help but call it a beautifully orchestrated failure.

But wait, there’s more! Stay tune for my run-ins with more than one interested and interesting parties in part 2 of my crash course in the OBRP.


6 Comments on "My Crash Course in the ORBP Part 1"

  1. You must have been made dyslexic by going to that meeting… you are actually talking about the ORBP not the OBRP.
    Dyslexics Untie !

  2. Sounds like they were trying to baffle you with overkill data. The truth is out there and I believe it’s one bridge.

    Dyslexics Untie ! I like this!

  3. The truth is that all 450 meetings on the ORBP came after the project had already been artificially combined into one project. It was only through the insistence of Riverfields that a downtown bridge was added to this project. Virtually every city in the world sends non-local truck traffic, especially hazmat around the city. A tolled east end bridge will make this impossible. Personally I’m not dead-set against an additional downtown bridge but this design that they have come with is pathetic. The revised spaghetti junction, where 3 interstates converge, is approx. $800 million with what little $ that was available for aesthetic considerations removed. Meanwhile we are removing 2 very cost effective lanes from the east end bridge while spending approx $800 million on the connecting road including a dishonest and absurd $1/4 billion tunnel. The priorities represented by the undemocratic, economically detrimental and socially unjust ORBP represent the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century. Only one poll has been done regarding this issue in the last 15 years and it clearly stated that >60% of Louisville residents, a super-majority opposed a toll funded downtown ORBP. Defend democracy, boycott downtown toll bridges. Save Louisville

  4. Haha. I woke up down today. You’ve ceehred me up!

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