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Project Profile: Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing

photo credit: Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority


Louisville, Kentucky / Southern Indiana

Project Borrower / Sponsor

Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA)

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceTolling and PricingTIFIA




The Downtown Crossing project includes the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge across the Ohio River, and associated roadway and facilities, connecting Louisville, Kentucky and Clark County, Indiana. The bridge carries six lanes of northbound I-65. The existing Kennedy Bridge, located immediately upstream is being 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 to eliminate design deficiencies and safety hazards.
The project is one 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 leads the Downtown Crossing project and the State of Indiana leads 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.

$1,478 million (YOE, including financing and interest)

Funding Sources

GARVEE bonds - $337 million

Project revenue bonds - $272 million

TIFIA loan - $452 million

Bond Anticipation Notes (premium) - $41 million

Federal and state funds (Kentucky) - $342 million

Federal and state funds (Indiana) - $34 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner

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 Advisors / 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.

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

Design-build team selection on November 15, 2012.

Construction began June 18, 2013.

Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened to traffic December 2015.

Substantial completion of all project elements expected by December 2016.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $452 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 on December 12, 2013.

  • 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 $2.8 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.
Related Links / Articles

Ohio River Bridges Project Website

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Project Procurement Website

Financial Plan - 2017 Annual Update


Andy Barber
Project Manager
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Tel: (502) 210-5400

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