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

Project Details
  • Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Project Value

$2.3 billion

Project Duration


Services Provided

Owner’s engineer, design, construction management, environmental impact statement, public outreach

A Tale of Two Crossings

In 1996, the 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 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.

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

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.

Featured Oct 2013/Updated Jul 2017

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