Bridge opens early + tolls in 2017 = Gahan MIA.

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Tolling is not slated to begin until 2017, but that’s water under a future bridge. The question for New Albany remains the same: What can we do pro-actively to plan for the repercussions?

Jeff Speck’s downtown street network proposals address this vital need to address prospective pass-through traffic. They also illustrate how a comprehensive civic lifestyle rejigging downtown would support numerous other aspects of economic development and future municipal planning with integration and connectivity.

Mayor Jeff Gahan claims to understand the former, but refuses to discuss the latter, presumably owing to the fact that modernity to local DemoDisneyDixiecrats is like garlic to a vampire — or Lite beer to the Publican.

Gahan’s re-election campaign officially begins next week. His current Speck timetable calls for year-long delays in courage and resolve. The early arrival of the new downtown bridge provides additional proof that Gahan’s politically-motivated delays can only hurt New Albany.

SPANNING TIME: New downtown bridge to open ahead of schedule, by Matt Koesters (News and Tribune)

LOUISVILLE — Two summers ago, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear predicted that in three years’ time, a new bridge connecting downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana would be open to traffic.
Beshear admitted Friday that he doesn’t mind that he was wrong.

“This time, it’s a good thing that I was wrong, because I’m excited to announce that just a year from today, three months ahead of schedule, the mighty towers of concrete and steel that you see rising behind me will be complete,” Beshear said, speaking at a press conference on the Louisville bank of the Ohio River. “The cables will be strung, the deck laid, the stripes painted and cars and trucks will be flowing across the first new bridge in more than half a century across the Ohio River into downtown Louisville.”

The accelerated schedule for the opening of the new bridge will allow for more in-depth work to be done on the existing John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. When the new downtown bridge opens, Interstate 65 traffic in both directions will shift to the new bridge for six months.

“In recent weeks, we made the decision to invest in a more complete and long-lasting overhaul of the Kennedy Bridge,” Beshear said. “We made that decision for two reasons: First, more extensive improvements are needed to add decades of life to the 52-year-old bridge, and second, completing the work now will save money and reduce impacts on drivers long-term.”

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