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Additional Study Ordered On Bridges Project

The Federal Highway Administration says cost cutting measures proposed for the Ohio River Bridges Project will require study, including a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The governors of Kentucky and Indiana and Mayor Greg Fischer last month proposed that the $4.1 billion project be scaled down to save $500 million.The suggested cutbacks include a smaller east end Bridge, reconfiguring Spaghetti Junction at its present site instead of moving it south, and removing walkways from a new downtown bridge.Project Manager Gary Valentine says the changes have potential environmental impacts not considered in earlier studies.He says the new review should take about a year, "which is within the timeline that we have indicated all along, with the goal of still getting into construction by August of 2012," he said.The bi-state bridges authority will also host an industry forum this week to discuss ways to make the project more cost-efficient.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.