Traffic on the downtown bridge will never again reach what is currently being carried on the existing Kennedy Bridge.
Not only will this massive new twin bridge never carry what just the old bridge does today, it doesn’t even exceed the design capacity until 2040 and never exceeds it by more than a modest amount, which is actually common on roads that function well and need no improvement.
In short, no new downtown bridge needed to be built at all. So Indiana and Kentucky are flushing $1.3 billion down the drain.As Renn notes, it gets worse. Despite the tolls that will be collected when the bridges open, bi-state agreement calls for an investment of $1.5 billion from existing tax dollars, about half of which is being paid by the state of Indiana. Renn observes that last year state officials claimed that Indiana's share would be $432 million from traditional funds. That figure has now grown to $723 million, an increase of almost $300 million. Gov. Daniels boasted that a new design plan saved Indiana taxpayers $225 million, all of which has been wiped out by these revised cost estimates.
Here's the problem. Gov. Mitch Daniels' Major Moves program was sound in principle, but the political cronyism that overtook the program once it was launched substantially eroded its value to Hoosiers. Decisions were time and time again made on what was best for the pay-to-play contractors who dumped millions of dollars into Daniels' campaign coffers rather than what was in the best interest of the state. Two new bridges had to be built at Louisville because that's what the contractors were demanding. At the end of the day, Daniels conducted the state's business the way Keith Bulen taught him. Rhetoric aside, Daniels practiced crony capitalism to a fault, a price several generations of future Hoosiers will be paying.