Ohio River Bridges – Jefferson County, KY, and Clark County, IN

  • Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Project Value

$2.3 billion




Design And Urban Planning, Program/Construction Management (PM/CM), Sustainability

A Tale of Two Crossings

Kentucky Indiana Planning and Development Agency, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) initiated the Ohio River Major Investment Study in the late 90’s to address current and future travel across the Ohio River, which recommended that INDOT and KYTC build two new bridges to meet the region’s cross-river transportation needs, enhance safety, and reduce traffic congestion.

Our Role

Parsons, as lead firm and managing partner in the Community Transportation Solutions joint venture, who served as the project’s General Engineering Consultant, was responsible for managing preparation of the environmental impact documents and for overseeing preliminary design for the project, including both the Downtown Crossing, and for the East End Crossing.

A cable-stayed bridge with three sets of twin towers was chosen for the Downtown Crossing to allow more open views of the downtown Louisville skyline. Now named the Abraham Lincoln Bridge, it opened to traffic on December 30, 2016. Work included:

  • Building a new I-65 bridge with six northbound lanes
  • Reconfiguring Spaghetti Junction (I-64, I-65, and I-71)
  • Reconfiguring Indiana roadway and bridge approaches
  • Rehabbing the Kennedy Bridge (I-65) with six southbound lanes

The East End Crossing, now named the Lewis and Clark Bridge, is the first bridge project to receive an Envision® Platinum Sustainability Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for the project’s exceptional achievements in sustainable infrastructure design, construction, and operations. The bridge opened to traffic on December 18, 2016, and features a new, state-of-the-art, cable-stayed bridge; a tunnel under historic property in Kentucky; and 4 miles of new-terrain highway in Indiana. Highlights include:

  • Building a new East End bridge 8 miles upstream from downtown Louisville
  • Extending the Snyder Freeway (SR 841/I-265) in Kentucky to the new bridge, including a 1,700-ft tunnel under the Drumanard Estate in Prospect
  • Constructing a 6-mi long, new-terrain highway in Kentucky and Indiana that will extend the Gene Snyder Freeway (KY 841) and the Lee Hamilton Highway (SR 62/SR 265) to the new bridge

Learn More

The Ohio River Bridges Project, one of the largest transportation improvements in the nation, was designated by Congress as one of 13 projects of national importance. In addition to the two major bridges, the project involved 100+ highway bridges, a 1,700-ft hard-rock tunnel, and 100+ right-of-way acquisitions. We design and build bridges that enrich skylines and provide efficient transportation. Our portfolio includes more than 4,500 crossings around the world, including landmark projects that carry pedestrians, roads, railways, and pipelines. Learn more about our bridge expertise.

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