“Lewis and Clark Bridge” Officially Opens

“Lewis and Clark Bridge” Officially Opens

Officials cut the ribbon opening the Lewis and Clark Bridge. The bridge connects the eastern edge of suburban Louisville and an area just east of Jeffersonville, IN. The bridge was previously referred to as East End Crossing.

Governor Mike Pence named the East End Crossing, which spans the Ohio River and connects Louisville metro and southern Indiana, the “Lewis and Clark Bridge” to honor Indiana and Kentucky’s shared historical prominence in the expeditions of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

“Naming this bridge the Lewis and Clark Bridge speaks to the shared prosperity between Indiana and Kentucky, just as Lewis and Clark together charted a course that would put the United States of America on a path to greatness,” said Governor Mike Pence. “As the Crossroads of America and the Bluegrass State continue to play a shared role in our national economy as models of industry and commerce, the Lewis and Clark Bridge will allow for us to grow, build, create and move products together and power our economies for years to come.”

The bridge’s new name was unveiled at a ceremony at the bridge site in which Governor-elect Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Deputy Administrator David Kim and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson were present. The $763 million East End Crossing underwent more than three years of construction, but was built at a cost $224 million lower than the original project estimate and finished six months ahead of the original schedule.

Bicyclists line up to ride across the newly opened Lewis and Clark Bridge.

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

The Lewis and Clark Bridge connects the east end of Louisville, near Prospect, to southern Indiana, near Utica. The bridge will ease travel in the Louisville-Southern Indiana region by improving safety and alleviating traffic congestion. More information about the project can be found here.

The East End Crossing project became a national example for financing major infrastructure projects and one that many states are now working to emulate. The project team has received a dozen industry awards for its innovative public-private partnership. Additionally, the East End Crossing was the first highway and bridge project to receive a platinum sustainability award.

Aerial view of the Lewis and Clark Bridge.

When Governor Mike Pence assumed office as the Governor of Indiana, he promised, “if we’re going to call ourselves the Crossroads of America, we’re going to have the roads to back it up.” Since making that pledge nearly four years ago, Indiana has invested more than $2.7 billion in state highways, repaved more than 2,000 miles of roads and modernized almost 1,700 bridges. During his term, Governor Pence directed $725 million to local roads and bridges and secured the first new state funding for local communities to invest in roads and bridges in more than a decade.

All photos courtesy of the East End Crossing Project’s official site.