The 2019 mayoral race is handed a critical debating point: “$80M Sherman Minton Bridge project to extend life up to 50 years.”

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I missed all the fun with last week’s Sherman Minton repair revelations, but it seems the beaming powers-that-be are making reassurances about the absence of future tolling.

They’re not to be trusted any longer than Dan Coffey’s attention span.

Based on our previous local experience with the ORBP’s unelected implementation junta, my advice is not to accept a single word any of them say, now or ever, sans verification.

I’d also advise every last elected official in New Albany and Floyd County to follow the timeless wisdom of holding these appointed decision-makers far closer to their bosoms than loved ones, or even mistresses.

The ORBP was a brutal top-down example of regional and state oligarchies in action. If River Ridge stands to benefit from the Sherman Minton Bridge reassembled over a period of five years, with double the existing rate of tolls when finished, then don’t kid yourselves, because that’s exactly the way it will come down.

Wendy Dant Chesser will beam, humanities majors will be purged, and the toadies will gather to toast “progress” — although in fairness, many local residents still will be screaming about taking the knee, well into Trumpolini’s second term.

Having said this, and conceding that issues pertaining to the bridge place it near the top of the “must hear” list for our mayoral/re-enthronement contest in 2019, the single biggest issue in the campaign remains the catastrophic implications of presumed Democrat Jeff Gahan’s public housing putsch.

But you already knew that, right?

EXCLUSIVE: $80M Sherman Minton Bridge project to extend life up to 50 years, by Elizabeth Beilman (News, Tribune and Evangelism)

Project will result in months-long shutdown

NEW ALBANY — Indiana officials are planning an estimated $80 million rehabilitation and painting project for the Sherman Minton Bridge corridor that will extend its life up to 50 years.

The cost-sharing project with the state of Kentucky is fully funded, so tolling drivers as a method to pay for it isn’t being considered, Indiana Department of Transportation officials say.

But they do anticipate the entire Sherman Minton will shut down, likely for a period of several months, during a portion of construction.

That work won’t begin until early 2021, with construction bids awarded in the fall of 2020. Officials have “no idea” how long the work will take, as the project hasn’t yet been designed …

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