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Tue November 25, 2008
Bill Could Help Fund I-69 Project
By Carrie Pond
Frankfort, KY – Two western Kentucky state Senators have pre-filed a bill for the 2009 legislative session that they say could provide funding for significant state road projects. Carrie Pond has more.
The bill, co-sponsored by Dorsey Ridley of Henderson and Jerry Rhoads of Madisonville, would establish a Public Infrastructure Authority. The Authority would evaluate "mega" projects- those exceeding 300 million dollars- and decide which could receive alternative funding. Rhoads says one project that could benefit significantly is the I-69 Bridge that would link Indiana to Kentucky. He says development along I-69 is vital to ensure travelers won't bypass western Kentucky, taking growth opportunities with them.
"The I-69 corridor is going to be an economic boon for western Kentucky, but a vital link in the whole corridor is the bridge. This will provide a smooth link from the bypass around Evansville over to the Pennyrile Parkway." Rhoads says the alternative funding would be provided in part through the implementation of tolls booths, but that state and federal funding will be used as well. The General Assembly will take up the bill when the lawmakers return to Frankfort in January.