The Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing

WVB TO TOLLING WEBSITE
Menu

Crossings Climb, Call Times Improve In Second Quarter

Major improvements in response times

July 18, 2017The second quarter of tolling on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana saw an increase in the number of crossings on the bridges and significant improvements in RiverLink customer service. Tolling on the SR 265 Lewis and Clark Bridge, I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge and I-65 Kennedy Bridge started Dec. 30, 2016.

The average time to answer a call to RiverLink customer service dropped dramatically in the second quarter of the year, from an average of 40.5 minutes in the first quarter to an average of 7.9 minutes in the second quarter. Even more improvement was seen in June, the final month of the quarter, when the average time to answer a call was less than a minute.

“We want to thank RiverLink customers for their patience, and let them know significant improvements have been made,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “We’re committed to delivering the help customers need in a timely fashion. The numbers show the many improvements we’ve made are working.”

Several steps have been taken to improve the customer experience. The biggest improvement has been increasing the number of customer service representatives. Currently 75 representatives answer calls to RiverLink customer service. Not only are calls being answered more quickly, but the number of calls abandoned has dropped dramatically.

An automated payment option was added in May, allowing customers to pay an invoice over the phone without ever talking to a customer service representative. Several improvements have also been made to the website, including the addition of a RiverLink Help section earlier this year. The RiverLink Help section is currently being updated, and will soon include step-by-step tutorials for managing RiverLink accounts.

Second Quarter Crossings

Nearly one million more drivers crossed the three tolled bridges in the second quarter of the year. Nearly 8 million crossings were recorded on the three bridges in April, May and June.

The average number of weekend and weekday crossings on tolled bridges both increased in the second quarter. The average number of weekday crossings climbed just over 10 percent in the second quarter, and the average number of weekend crossings climbed just over 18 percent.

The number of crossings increased on all three of the tolled bridges in the second quarter, with the largest increase seen on the Lewis and Clark Bridge.


Accounts and Transponders

Consistent growth was seen in the second quarter in the number of RiverLink accounts, and the number of RiverLink local transponders and RiverLink E-ZPass transponders requested. The number of RiverLink accounts increased 17 percent in the second quarter, with nearly 126,000 accounts opened by the end of June. A total of nearly 276,000 RiverLink local transponders and RiverLink E-ZPass transponders have been requested.

“We’re pleased to see more people opening RiverLink accounts and getting RiverLink transponders,” said Andy Dietrick, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “However, we’re not seeing a substantial increase in the number of drivers crossing tolled bridges with transponders. It’s important for all drivers to remember that when they cross with a transponder and prepaid account, they’re paying the lowest toll rates.”

An average of 59 percent of drivers crossed tolled bridges with transponders during weekdays in the second quarter, an increase of 3 percentage points from the first quarter of the year.

Drivers Without Accounts

More drivers in Kentucky and Indiana crossed the tolled bridges with transponders in the second quarter. The number of Kentucky drivers crossing the tolled bridges without prepaid accounts and transponders dropped more than 14 percent, and the number of Indiana drivers crossing without prepaid accounts and transponders dropped nearly 12 percent. The number of out-of-state drivers without transponders and prepaid accounts dropped 3 percent from the first quarter.

For drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders, cameras capture an image of the license plate and an invoice is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. There’s no need for drivers to take any action until the invoice arrives. Initial invoices are for tolls owed, and do not include any penalties.

Frequent-User Discount

The number of drivers who qualified for the frequent-user discount was consistent, with a 2 percent increase in the number of frequent-users in the second quarter of the year.

The frequent-user discount is an automatic credit after 40 trips are posted on any of the three tolled bridges in a calendar month. The credit is 50 percent, and each additional trip that month is also discounted 50 percent.

The frequent-user discount is only for drivers in passenger vehicles with RiverLink personal accounts who maintain a positive balance. The frequent-user discount is per transponder, not per account.

Revenue to Date

Revenue numbers are preliminary for the second quarter. At the end of the second quarter, nearly $35 million had been collected and split evenly between Indiana and Kentucky. An additional $3.3 million will be received from E-ZPass systems in other states (drivers who crossed the tolled Ohio River bridges with E-ZPass transponders from other states).

The billing cycle is still active, and additional money is being collected from vehicle owners who have received invoices.

Revenue collected to date is in line with expectations, and both states are meeting their financial obligations for the Bridges Project. Toll revenue can only be used to meet financial obligations of the project and for operation and maintenance of the project area.

###

Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently-asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.

Find more details on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

Riverlink Transponders Available At Retail Locations

Prepaid transponders available at Speedway locations in KY and IN

June 29, 2017 –  Drivers have another option for purchasing RiverLink transponders. RiverLink starter kits are now available at Speedway locations throughout Kentucky and Indiana. The kit includes a RiverLink prepaid transponder that can be used on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana, a reload card and a RiverLink customer agreement.

The retail kits are sold at all Speedway locations in Indiana and Kentucky, and should be in stock at all 381 stores in the two states. The transponders are sold at 258 Speedway locations in Indiana and 123 locations in Kentucky, including more than two dozen locations in Louisville.  Additional retailers are expected in the future.

Drivers do not need to register their transponder or their car to use the prepaid transponder. They simply need to purchase the kit and activate it at the store register. The RiverLink starter kit can be found with other prepaid cards and gift cards in Speedway stores.

Using a RiverLink Starter Kit

Purchasing and using a RiverLink retail kit is easy:

  1. Load $20 to $500 on the transponder at checkout. There is a one-time $3.00 activation fee.
  2. Place the transponder on the inside of the car windshield, as instructed.
  3. The RiverLink prepaid transponder is ready to use on any of the three Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River tolled bridges.
  4. Keep the RiverLink card and use it to reload the prepaid RiverLink transponder at a participating Speedway location. The minimum balance to reload a prepaid transponder is $20. There is a $1.50 reloading fee every time money is added to the transponder.

Money can only be added to a prepaid retail transponder by using the reload card at a participating Speedway location, not a RiverLink customer service center.

A positive account balance is required to pay the lowest toll rates. If the prepaid retail RiverLink transponder reaches a zero balance, drivers will pay higher toll rates, and receive an invoice in the mail.

The tolled bridges are the I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, the I-65 Kennedy Bridge and the SR 265 Lewis and Clark Bridge.

Customers can call 855-RIV-LINK (855-748-5465) to check the balance on the reloadable, prepaid transponder. The transponder number, located on the back of the reload card, is needed. The number is also available on the RiverLink local transponder.

RiverLink local transponders are non-transferable and can’t be moved from vehicle to vehicle. If a driver attempts to remove the transponder from the windshield, the transponder will be destroyed.

Registering a RiverLink Prepaid Transponder

Drivers can choose to register prepaid transponders to eliminate reloading fees and to access additional services.

Registering the transponder allows customers to better manage their RiverLink account. Customers can check account balances and add money to the account online, through the automated phone system or by talking to a customer service representative.

To register a prepaid transponder purchased at a retail location:

  1. Call 855-RIV-LINK (855-748-5465) or visit a RiverLink customer service center.
  2. Provide personal and vehicle information (license number, year, make, model and color) to register the transponder.
  3. Enjoy the full benefits of a RiverLink prepaid account, with no reloading fees, access to auto-replenishment and access to account statements.

RiverLink is all-electronic tolling with no stopping, no slowing, no lines and no coin machines. Toll rates range from $2-$12, depending on the size of the vehicles. Drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders pay the lowest rates.

For drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders, cameras capture an image of the license plate and an invoice is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. There’s no need for drivers to take any action until the invoice arrives. Initial invoices are for tolls owed, and do not include additional fees.

###

Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently-asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.

Find more details on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

HELP AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: AUTOMATED SYSTEM NOW AVAILABLE

Add money to your RiverLink account or pay an invoice by phone 24/7

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 26, 2017) –  You can add money to your RiverLink prepaid account or pay your RiverLink invoice by picking up the phone. A new automated system means there’s no need to talk to a customer service representative to check your RiverLink account balance, add money to your prepaid account or pay an invoice. The automated phone system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

RiverLink account holders can continue to manage their accounts and drivers with invoices can continue to make payments online, www.RiverLink.com. Use the green buttons at the top of the home page.

RiverLink Account Holders

Drivers with RiverLink prepaid accounts can call 855-RIV-LINK to check their account balance, and to add money to their accounts. There’s no need to talk to a customer service representative. Drivers will need their RiverLink account number and their 4-digit PIN number.

If drivers don’t remember their PIN number, it’s available online at www.RiverLink.com. Drivers should click Account Features and Edit Account to highlight and reveal the 4-digit PIN number.

Account holders simply press 1, enter their RiverLink account number and follow voice prompts to add money to their account. Money can be added using a credit card or debit card.

RiverLink Invoices

In addition to the existing online payment option, drivers who receive RiverLink invoices now have the option of paying the invoice through the automated phone system. After calling 855-RIV-LINK, drivers should hit 2 if calling about an invoice. To make a payment, a driver should then hit 1, enter the reference number located on the toll invoice and follow voice prompts.

Payments can be made by credit card or debit card. There’s no need to talk to a customer service representative. Drivers will receive a confirmation number after making a payment.

Violation Notices

The first violation notices will soon be sent to drivers who have outstanding toll invoices. A violation notice is sent after the first and second toll notices have not been paid. Invoices are mailed using the following schedule:

  1. The first RiverLink invoice includes only tolls owed, and no additional fees. Vehicle owners have 30 days to pay the bill.
  2. If the bill is not paid, a second invoice will be mailed that includes a $5 administrative fee. Vehicle owners have 20 days to pay the second notice.
  3. If the second bill is not paid, the vehicle owner is in violation and a $25 violation fee is added to the third invoice. The driver has 30 days to pay the third bill.
  4. If the invoice is still not paid, the bill moves to collections and a $30 collections fee is added to the total amount. In addition to moving to the collections process, vehicle owners in Kentucky and Indiana who do not pay their tolls may face restrictions on vehicle registration until tolls and related fees are paid.

The majority of violation notices are being sent on a delayed schedule, which has allowed more time for drivers to pay first and second notices received. The additional time has also allowed for continued improvements to the customer service call center. Call volume remains high, but additional staff is helping to shorten hold times.

Drivers continue to have the option of leaving a preferred callback number, and a customer service representative will return the call. The callback feature is offered through 3 p.m. each day, to help ensure timely responses. If the return call is missed, the driver must leave his number again to get back in the call queue.

Drivers with violation notices will begin receiving them in early June. The violation notices will be sent on a continuing cycle. Enforcement ensures tolling is fair, and helps to keep rates as low as possible.

Auto-Replenishment

RiverLink is all-electronic tolling, and drivers with prepaid RiverLink accounts and transponders pay the lowest toll rates. It’s not enough to have a RiverLink account. Tolling is prepaid, and drivers must maintain a positive account balance.

If an account reaches a negative balance, the driver will pay a higher toll rate and receive an invoice in the mail. If a driver crosses a tolled bridge with a negative balance, the account will be locked until tolls owed are paid.

Drivers who choose auto-replenishment will always have a positive balance, and will pay the lowest toll rates. When a RiverLink account reaches a low balance, the replenishment amount is automatically added to the account using the payment method on file.

RiverLink account holders can set up auto-replenishment in 3 easy steps:

  1. Log on to the prepaid RiverLink account at www.RiverLink.com.
  2. Click Payments/Manage Payment Methods to add a payment method.
  3. Click Account Features/Edit Account to choose auto-replenishment. Be sure to save changes.

The minimum replenishment amount is $20.00, and the minimum account balance to trigger auto-replenishment is $6.00. Drivers should consider a replenishment amount that matches expected monthly toll usage.

 

RiverLink is all-electronic tolling with no stopping, no slowing, no lines and no coin machines. Toll rates range from $2-$12, depending on the size of the vehicles. Drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders pay the lowest rates.

Drivers can open a prepaid RiverLink account at www.RiverLink.com. New account holders will pay the lowest toll rates, if they’ve established a prepaid account, while they wait for their transponders to arrive.

For drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders, cameras capture an image of the license plate and an invoice is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. There’s no need for drivers to take any action until the invoice arrives. Initial invoices are for tolls owed, and do not include any penalties.

###

Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently-asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.

Find more details on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.

 

RiverLink Help

Have a question? Save some time. Check here for a possible answer.

Think you were charged in error? Did you make a crossing that didn’t post to your account?

  • Fill out this dispute form: https://riverlink.com/downloads/Toll_Dispute_Form.pdf.
  • Return the toll dispute form by email, mail or in person at a customer service center. You’ll get a written response within 30 days.
  • If you’re disputing a crossing that hasn’t posted, wait at least a week for the trip to post prior to filing a dispute. Include the date, approximate time of the trip, license plate number and transponder number when filing your dispute.
  • A single dispute form can cover multiple transactions. You do not need to fill out a dispute form for individual crossings.

Don’t let your account reach a negative balance!

  • You need to keep money in your account to pay for trips across tolled bridges. It’s not enough to just have a RiverLink account.
  • If your RiverLink account reaches a negative balance, the next time you cross a tolled bridge, you’ll pay a higher rate and receive an invoice in the mail.
  • Accounts with a negative balance will be locked until tolls owed are paid.
  • If your account has a negative balance, trips taken will not count toward the frequent-user discount.
  • The minimum balance of $20 for a personal account is likely not enough if you intend to use tolled bridges every day.
  • Auto-replenishment is the best way to avoid a negative balance.

Why is my RiverLink account locked?

  • Your prepaid RiverLink account will be locked if you cross a tolled bridge after your account has reached a negative balance.
  • Your account will remain locked until you pay tolls owed.
  • Contact a customer service representative by phone or in person to pay tolls owed and add money to your account.
  • Auto-replenishment is the best way to avoid a negative balance and higher toll rates.

What is auto-replenishment, and how does it work?

  • Auto-replenishment starts when you add a payment form (credit card, debit card or checking account) to your RiverLink prepaid account.
  • When you reach a low balance, money is automatically added to your account from your chosen payment method to ensure you never reach a negative balance, and never pay a higher toll rate.
  • You can set up auto-replenishment online, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
  • To set up auto-replenishment online, log in to your account and click the Account Features tab and Edit Account.
  • Be sure to complete the two-step process and check the box, authorizing auto-replenishment and click save at the bottom of the page.
  • Auto-replenishment amounts can be managed online (log in, go to Payment tab and choose Manage Payment Methods), by phone or at a customer service center.
  • Consider a replenishment level that matches expected monthly toll expenses.

I thought I set up auto-replenishment, but it’s not working.

  • It’s easy to check if auto-replenishment is in place. Log in to your account and click the Account Features tab and Edit Account.
  • Be sure to complete the two-step process and check the box, authorizing auto-replenishment and click save at the bottom of the page.
  • If your credit card expires or is not valid, auto-replenishment will not work.
  • It’s a good idea to add a secondary, back-up payment source in case the first payment method fails.

Why is more money being added to my account?

  • If you’ve set up auto-replenishment, more money will be added to your account when you reach a low balance, one-third of your minimum balance.
  • You control the level of replenishment, with a minimum of $20 for personal accounts.
  • You can manage payment options online. Log in to your account, go to the Payment tab and choose Manage Payment Methods.
  • You can also manage payment methods by calling or visiting a customer service center.

My account balance is low. How do I add more money to my account?

  • You can add more money to your account online, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
  • Log in to your account and click on the Payments tab and select Make a Payment.
  • Low balance reminders are sent automatically. Request low-balance reminders by e-mail to help ensure timely reminders, and check your spam folder to make sure you’re not missing notifications.
  • Notifications sent by mail may arrive after an account reaches a negative balance.
  • Consider auto-replenishment to save time and avoid a negative balance.

I want to set up a RiverLink account, but the website indicates I already have an account.

  • If you’ve crossed a tolled bridge, you’re in the system. That means your license plate is associated with crossings on tolled bridges.
  • You have to pay tolls owed before you can set up your RiverLink prepaid account.
  • Contact a customer service representative by phone or in person to reduce tolls owed and set up your RiverLink prepaid account.
  • Tolls owed will be reduced to the lower, transponder rate (one-time only!) if you set up a prepaid RiverLink account.

How do I get my frequent-user discount?

  • The frequent-user discount is automatic. 40 crossings (20 round trips) must post for the calendar month before the discount is received.
  • The frequent-user discount is per transponder, not per account.
  • The frequent-user discount is only for drivers in passenger vehicles with RiverLink personal accounts who maintain a positive balance.
  • You must have enough money in your account to prepay all trips. For example, 40 trips at $2 per crossing = $80.
  • Trips taken with a negative balance will not count toward your frequent-user discount. Consider signing up for auto-replenishment to always keep a positive balance.
  • After 40 crossings are posted to the account, it can take a few days for the credit to post.

How can I tell how many crossings I’ve made?

  • Log in to your RiverLink account and click on Account Features.
  • Click on Transaction History.
  • Use the Set Filters button at the bottom to filter trips by transponder or license plate. You can copy crossings into Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheets.

I should be a frequent-user, but not all of my crossings have posted to my account.

  • Check to make sure your transponder is mounted correctly.
  • Give crossings time to post. Some trips across tolled bridges will go to image review, even if you have a transponder. They can take several days to post.
  • Don’t take additional trips because some crossings may not have posted to your account yet. Additional trips will result in additional tolls owed.
  • If it’s been more than a week since you’ve made a crossing and it hasn’t posted, fill out this dispute form: https://riverlink.com/downloads/Toll_Dispute_Form.pdf.
  • Be sure to include the date, approximate time of the crossing, your license plate number, RiverLink account number and transponder number.
  • Return the toll dispute form by email, mail or in person at a customer service center. You will get a written response within 30 days.

Why didn’t my crossing count toward my frequent-user discount?

  • The frequent-user discount is only for drivers in passenger vehicles with RiverLink personal accounts who maintain a positive balance.
  • Crossings made with a negative balance will not count toward the frequent-user discount. Consider auto-replenishment for your account.
  • Only crossings in passenger vehicles count toward your frequent-user discount. Additional height on a 2-axle vehicle (accessories, ladders or cargo more than 7 ½ feet tall) or additional axles (pulling a boat or trailer) changes vehicle classification and those trips will not count toward the discount.

Why am I being charged $5 for a trip that usually costs me $2?

  • If you have a transponder and a prepaid account, you’re paying the lowest rates based on your vehicle classification.
  • Toll rates are based on vehicle height and number of axles.
  • If you’re in a 2-axle vehicle that is over 7 ½ feet in height, you will be charged as a medium vehicle, $5 with a transponder.
  • Vehicle accessories, ladders on top of a truck and cargo in a pickup are considered part of a vehicle.
  • Crossing a bridge with additional axles, such as pulling a boat or trailer, will lead to higher toll rates.

Why can’t I see my license plate number on my account statement?

  • If you have a valid transponder, that is how your trip is recorded by RiverLink.
  • Your transponder number will be identified on each crossing.

When will I receive an invoice?

  • Invoices are sent to vehicle owners without transponders and without prepaid accounts.
  • You will receive an invoice if your account has a negative balance. Consider auto-replenishment.
  • An invoice is sent to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle.
  • Two one-way crossings in a passenger vehicle will trigger an invoice. Any additional trips for the next 15 days are collected, and the invoice is mailed to the owner of the vehicle.
  • Additional crossings after the initial invoice, and multiple vehicles registered to the same address will be billed in separate invoices.
  • Initial invoices for the RiverLink system may take longer than normal to receive.

I’ve received an invoice, now what do I do?

  • Invoices can by paid online, by mail, by phone or in person at a RiverLink customer service center.
  • The first RiverLink invoice includes only tolls owed.
  • Pay the bill within 30 days to avoid additional fees.
  • Consider opening a RiverLink prepaid account to pay the lowest toll rates.

I crossed a tolled bridge. Do I have to wait for an invoice to pay?

  • No, but you do have to wait several days for the trip to post to the RiverLink system.
  • You can call customer service after the trip has time to post, and supply your license plate number to pay tolls owed. You can also pay the toll at a customer service center.
  • To pay online, you will need to wait to receive an invoice first.
  • Consider opening a RiverLink prepaid account to pay the lowest toll rates.

Where’s my transponder?

  • If you order a RiverLink local or RiverLink E-ZPass transponder online or by phone, it will be mailed to you, free of charge.
  • Expect to receive your transponder about two weeks after you have placed your order.
  • If you have not received your transponder in a timely fashion, check with customer service by email or phone. Be sure to include your account number.

Where do I mount my transponder?

  • The transponder goes on the inside of your windshield, as high and as central as possible, close to the rearview mirror, https://riverlink.com/downloads/MountingInstructions.pdf.
  • Avoid the black dots that may surround your rearview mirror. They can keep your transponder from being read accurately.
  • Keep the transponder 3 inches away from metal framing.

How do I get a replacement transponder?

  • You can request a replacement transponder online, by phone or at a customer service center.
  • Log in to your account and click on the Transponder tab and Replace Transponder.

I bought a new car. What do I do?

  • New vehicles can be added to your account online, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
  • Log in to your account, click on the Vehicles tab and Add Vehicles.
  • Add your temporary license plate number using the state where you expect to receive your permanent license plate.
  • Expect to receive your transponder in about two weeks.
  • Be sure to update your license plate information when you receive your permanent license plate.

I have a new license plate. What do I do?

  • New license plates can be added to your account online, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
  • Log in to your account, click on the Vehicles tab and Edit Vehicles to update your license plate information.
  • You do not need a new transponder unless you get a new vehicle.

I sold my car. What do I do?

  • When you sell your vehicle, remember to remove the transponder from the vehicle.
  • Remove the sold vehicle from your account online, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
  • Log in to your account, click on the Vehicles tab and Edit Vehicles to remove the sold vehicle from your account.

I crossed a tolled bridge in a rental car. What do I do?

  • If you are in a rental car, you should contact your rental car agency for terms and conditions of payment.
  • These transactions are often sent to the rental car company’s E-ZPass account, and must be paid through the rental car company.
  • These transactions are not available for payment by RiverLink.

Still need us? Contact RiverLink customer service.

  • By email: inquiry@riverlink.com. Expect a response in 3-5 days.
  • By phone: 1-855-RIV-LINK (748-5465). Call volumes are high.
  • Avoid long hold times:
    • Call early in the day and/or use the callback option.
    • The callback option is offered until 3 p.m., Monday-Friday.
    • Expect a return call later in the day, or early the following day.
    • If you miss the call from RiverLink, be sure to call back to be added to the queue again.
  • In person at a customer service center:
    • 103 Quartermaster Station, Jeffersonville, IN (near City Hall)
    • 400 E. Main, Louisville, KY (across from Slugger Field, with free curbside parking)
  • Customer service centers and phone lines are open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday.
  • Customer service centers and phone lines are open 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.

Lewis and Clark Bridge, East End Crossing Open to Traffic

Governor-elect Holcomb announces name during opening ceremony

The East End Crossing opened to traffic Sunday, December 18, following an earlier opening ceremony, marking completion of the $2.3 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project. Indiana Lt. Governor and Governor-elect Eric Holcomb announced the newly named Lewis and Clark Bridge by executive order of Vice President-elect Governor Mike Pence at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Indiana approach of the new bridge.

Following the ribbon cutting, Holcomb and other speakers were loaded into two Ford vehicles built at the nearby Kentucky Truck Plant in East Louisville to ceremonially cross the bridge for the first time. Project officials followed state leaders in Transit Authority of River City buses.

The long-anticipated 8½ miles of new roadway connects the eastern edge of suburban Louisville and an area just east of Jeffersonville, Ind. with its centerpiece 2,500-foot cable-stay bridge reaching across the Ohio River.

Holcomb said Indiana’s innovative public-private partnership helped take the East End Crossing from wish to reality.

“After decades of discussion and stalled progress, many people thought we’d never see this moment,” Holcomb said. “Now, communities on both sides of the Ohio River will reap the benefit of improved, safe interstate access.”

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin applauded today’s accomplishment and the joint effort needed to make it happen.

“This crowning achievement, forty years in the making, just goes to show what we can accomplish when we work together towards a common goal,” Bevin said. “Without our partners, including the state of Indiana, Walsh Construction, WVB East End Partners and an outstanding labor force, among others, the completion of this project would not have been possible. We are grateful for all who came together as an enthusiastic community to improve economic opportunity and improve mobility for everyone travelling through this region.

Rob Morphonios, WVB East End Partners project director, said the project team attracted hundreds of locals and those from other parts of the country and the world, himself included.

“Everyone brought certain skills or areas of expertise and worked together and look at what they’ve done,” Morphonios said. “The success here shows what can be achieved when you have a lot of different people, with different backgrounds, and different ideas and skills to offer. When they all work together, they can accomplish amazing things.”

Matt Walsh, chairman of the Walsh Group, credited the strength of cooperation between the state of Indiana and the construction group.

“The success of this project is the result of a shared vision from state officials, community members, and the hundreds of men and women who have worked so safely and tirelessly over the past three years,” Walsh said. “This project serves as a model for what can be accomplished in the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.”

More than 3.3 million man-hours on this project were elapsed by Walsh Vinci Construction over the project’s three year construction.

“Southern Indiana and the Louisville area has needed this new bridge for years,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator David Kim. “By reducing congestion, the East End Crossing and its massive partner downtown will improve traffic safety, reduce traffic congestion and dramatically increase the region’s role in the nation’s freight economy.”

The 500 vehicles making up the public caravan followed state and community leaders and the KILROY chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. These participants signed up online last week to be part of the first to drive the new road. These spots were filled in less than three minutes. Drivers arrived at a closed-off section of the newly completed Indiana 265 to be escorted by police southbound on Indiana 265 toward the Lewis and Clark Bridge.

Participants in the police-escorted caravan received antique silver commemorative medallions with an etching of the new Lewis and Clark Bridge. The medallions act as the second in a “matching set” created for the Ohio River Bridges project. The first of the commemorative set was created for the December 2015 opening of the Lincoln Bridge, a six-lane bridge carrying I-65 northbound traffic across the river from downtown Louisville to Jeffersonville.

Tolling is scheduled to begin on the new and improved I-65 Lincoln Bridge, Kennedy Bridge and the Lewis and Clark Bridge on December 30.

What Work is Left?

The opening of the East End Crossing is a major milestone for the project but work will continue through spring. Punch list items, such as grading and landscaping remain until final acceptance by the Indiana Finance Authority and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Short-term lane closures may be possible as crews put the finishing touches on the East End Crossing.

About the Project

Substantial completion of the East End Crossing will provide several significant benefits to the Louisville and Southern Indiana area – including convenient access for residents commuting between eastern Jefferson County and Southern Indiana. And for travelers passing through the Louisville area from the north or the south, the East End Crossing will be an alternate – and very accessible – route that bypasses the urban traffic of downtown Louisville.

The Kentucky approach to the new bridge extends Kentucky 841 (the Gene Snyder Freeway) from its previous termination at U.S. 42, adding a new four-lane (two northbound, two southbound) 1.4-mile section. This section includes a pair of 1,700-foot tunnels that carry Kentucky 841 traffic beneath U.S. 42 and the historic Drumanard estate. The Indiana approach, also four lanes, extends Indiana 265 (the Lee Hamilton Highway) four miles to the Ohio River from its previous termination at Indiana 62.

The bridge features two diamond towers rising 300 feet above the river, with 104 stay cables. It also includes a shared-use path over the Ohio River for pedestrians and bicyclists accessed from Old Salem Road in Indiana.

Construction of the East End Crossing commenced in June 2013. The East End Crossing is part of the $2.3 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which also includes the construction of the Lincoln Bridge. A study commissioned by the Indiana Finance Authority estimated the project will support 15,000 new jobs over the next 30 years and generate an additional $87 billion for the regional economy.

The Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Department of Transportation contracted the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the East End Crossing through an innovative public-private partnership with WVB East End Partners.

East End Crossing the First Bridge Project to Receive Envision® Platinum Sustainability Award

November 16, 2016 – The Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing (ORB‑EEC)—which will connect the east end of Louisville, KY, with Southern Indiana—recently earned an Envision Platinum Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for the project’s exceptional achievements in sustainable infrastructure design, construction, and operations.

023-Ohio River-Platinum (1)

The ORB‑EEC represents many Envision Award firsts, including the first project involving a highway, first river bridge, first bi-state project, and first project with a roadway tunnel to receive an Envision Award. In addition, the $763 million public‑private partnership (P3) project—Indiana’s first for construction—is the largest P3 project in North America to be third-party certified by Envision’s horizontal infrastructure sustainability rating system.

“Strong teamwork and collaboration on sustainability aspects were in evidence throughout the project,” said Ron Heustis, Project Manager, Indiana Department of Transportation. “The innovative partnership between Indiana and the Commonwealth of Kentucky ensured the project was designed to serve the needs of the entire region today, and for the future. In fact, this is a project that serves as a sustainability best practice model that can be applied to other projects throughout the country.”

The state of Indiana—in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet—collaborated to construct the ORB-EEC between State Road 265 in Indiana and the Gene Snyder Freeway in Kentucky, completing a loop around the east end of the Louisville metropolitan area. The project features a 2,300‑foot‑long cable‑stayed bridge with a pedestrian and bicycle path, 8 miles of new‑terrain highway, and a 1,700‑foot twin‑bore tunnel under a historic property. It is approximately half of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project—the largest bi-state transportation project ever undertaken by the two states—which also includes the Downtown Crossing connecting Downtown Louisville, KY, and Jeffersonville, IN.

Three main firms are involved in delivering the ORB‑EEC project. WVB East End Partners, the Public-Private Partnership (P3) consortium comprised of Walsh Investors, VINCI Concessions, and Bilfinger Project Investments International Holdings, is responsible for the operation, routine maintenance, and rehabilitation of a substantial portion of the East End Crossing for 35 years. Walsh-VINCI Construction is WVB East End Partners’ design-build joint venture executing the work and consists of Walsh Construction and VINCI Construction. The project, expected to take 3.5 years to construct, will be substantially complete in late 2016. Serving on the project since 1998, Parsons—as joint venture lead—is the general engineering consultant providing technical oversight services, including design review, construction management, as well as construction engineering and inspection. Parsons also assisted with the ORB-EEC P3 procurement. In addition to the Envision Platinum Award, the collaborative efforts of all team members have resulted in several awards, including the Bond Buyer 2013 Deal of the Year, ARTBA 2013 P3 Project of the Year, and nearly a dozen other awards.

Envision Awards are based on measures related to quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, as well as climate and risk. The project team’s sustainability priorities encompassed all these areas to achieve Platinum level, with the Envision Award judges giving their highest marks in three areas:

Quality of Life — By improving cross-river mobility, the EEC will stimulate the economy of the entire region, spurring business and job growth, increasing productivity, and expanding the available workforce capable of commuting efficiently to their jobs. In addition, not only will current traffic congestion in downtown Louisville be reduced, the project will expand the region’s capacity to accommodate anticipated population growth.

Leadership — Working within two states, the EEC team had to navigate differences in environmental laws and regulations, as well as transportation policies. Indiana and Kentucky quickly identified and mitigated any regulatory or policy impediments to achieving the highest levels of sustainability on the project, maintaining their spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the region.

In addition, throughout the project, hundreds of public meetings, workshops, and design sessions were held, and stakeholder groups were formed to provide public input into the design, construction, and operation of the EEC. Key outcomes of these meetings included measures to preserve historical properties and incorporate aesthetics design elements that align with the area’s history, including decorative fencing, lighting, and pedestrian railings.

Climate and Risk — The EEC design included a minimum vertical alignment for the corridor to account for a 100-year flood event for the retaining walls and highway bridges, and a 500-year flood event for the tunnel, roadway, and cable-stayed bridge. To address possible fires and earthquakes, a tunnel emergency response plan was implemented in cooperation with several local and state agencies, and the tunnel design exceeded seismic regulatory requirements.

Find more information about the ORB-EEC project at www.eastendcrossing.com.

East End Crossing project teams bike to work

Bike to Work day

Several members of the East End Crossing project team biked to work in late July 2015 for a more healthy, sustainable and economic mode of transportation.

WVB bikes to work

This is the third time a group of the project team gathered to bike to work since the beginning of the project. One group biked 6.5 miles in Indiana from the Big Four Bridge to the project headquarters. The other group biked 8.2 miles from the Big Four Bridge to the offices in Kentucky on River Road.

 

East End Crossing field trips for southern Indiana high school students

June 30, 2015 – The East End Crossing project team hosted two groups of engineering students and faculty from Clarksville, Jeffersonville and New Washington High Schools on field trips last month. The field trips consisted of presentations of the East End Crossing at the project headquarters, followed by construction site visits in southern Indiana.

IMG_8601 (Small)

IMG_8608

IMG_8612

Students who were in attendance showed a strong interest in the project and said that they hope to have careers in the engineering industry one day.

 

East End Crossing project team cleans riverbanks of the Ohio River

June 25, 2015 – Members of the East End Crossing project team participated in the 26th annual Ohio River Sweep with their family and friends to clean the riverbanks of the Ohio River at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

The project team picked-up and disposed of mainly food containers and plastic bottles.

Ohio River Sweep 2

Ohio River Sweep

Ohio river swwep 3

River Sweep is an event organized by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members of East End Crossing project team bike to work

Bike to Work day

May 21, 2015 – Several members of the East End Crossing project team participated in Louisville’s annual Bike to Work day on May 15, 2015. This is the second year that the East End Crossing team has been involved in this event.

One team biked over six miles starting at the Big Four Bridge and ending at the East End Crossing project headquarters in Jeffersonville. A second team of biked over eight miles to reach their project offices in Kentucky.

Bike to Work day 2

Bike to Work day

FacebookTwitterYouTube