>Beshear, Abramson appoint Ohio River Bridges negotiating teamBusiness First of Louisville

>Beshear, Abramson appoint Ohio River Bridges negotiating teamBusiness First of Louisville
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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson have appointed a five-member panel that will develop a bi-state partnership with Indiana to accelerate the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

Members of the Kentucky negotiating team are:

• Mike Hancock, interim secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet;

• Lori Hudson Flanery, deputy secretary, Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet;

• David Nicklies, president and CEO, Louisville-based Nicklies Development Corp.;

• Joe Reagan, president and CEO, Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce; and

• Ben Richmond, president and CEO, Louisville Urban League.

The bridges project includes construction of a bridge between downtown Louisville and downtown Jeffersonville, a bridge between Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind., and the redesign of Spaghetti Junction, where Interstates 64, 65 and 71 meet on the eastern edge of downtown Louisville.

The negotiating team was created under a law passed earlier this year during a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

The law called for Kentucky’s participation in a bi-state authority that will oversee financing and construction of the bridges project. In conjunction with the state legislation, the Louisville Metro Council passed a resolution last month, asking Beshear and Abramson to appoint Kentucky’s negotiating team.

The team will work with a similar group from Indiana to develop a bi-state authority, according to a news release.

The bi-state authority must be approved by a soon-to-be-created state transportation infrastructure authority and ratified by the Kentucky General Assembly.

“This group of dedicated public servants and community leaders has the experience and expertise to help us move this important project forward,” Beshear said in a news release. “It’s essential to the economic future of this region and our two states that we provide safe, modern interstate connections across the Ohio River.”

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