Many No Tolls supporters have recently contacted their legislative representatives to continue to urge "No Tolls." One supporter received a short response from a legislator that said basically, "Sorry, tolls are a done deal." It is unfortunate that we have uninformed elected officials (some not all) who believe the 'reality' that ORBP is spinning. They continue to use the tactic to further the perception that tolls are a 'done deal.'
However, that is not the case. The Federal Government has NOT approved tolling yet. The 2012 transportation bill has not passed, and it is not likely to before the deadline at the end of this month. Because of this, Federal Highways will revert to the old transportation bill, which includes language that says no tolling on existing interstates. They make a provision, allowing for 3 exemptions per year, and all 3 are used in 2012, (and NOT for the Ohio River Bridges Project). Of course 2013 and out is open, and no doubt the Bridges Authority are lobbying for a 4th exemption, but doubt the banks will loan this kind of money ($2 billion) on a promise for a future exemption with so many states and projects vying for these exemptions.
The power brokers in the ORBP continue to use "perception as reality" because they hope to create the illusion that it is a done deal and therefore the public will stop the resistance and this deal will fly. We must continue work on the FHWAA and our Congressmen and Senators, letting them know that "tolling" is not an acceptable solution for financing in our community, nor acceptable on existing highways per the transportation bill.
We are still working, we have a meeting with our Congressman Todd Young, Tuesday and will keep everyone informed of the truth.
In other recent news:
Lee Dulaney (granddaughter of River Fields founder Archibald Cochran) chastised River Fields and ORBP short-sighted planning in a letter which was published in the Courier-Journal on March 19, 2012:
I am writing to express my dismay about the shortsighted planning of the Ohio River Bridges Project. As a Louisville native who has lived in other waterfront communities, Seattle and San Francisco, I find it utterly amazing that our city, county and state leaders would choose to further junk up our waterfront with more steel and concrete - this while the aforementioned cities are working to clear their waterfronts and make them more accessible to residents.
We have a great start with the current Waterfront Park. Why not add even more green space? Please build the East End Bridge first and come up with an alternative for downtown.
If our city continues on this current path, I believe that our children and grandchildren will pay the ultimate price, that price being a city that is unable to compete with more visionary cities in attracting businesses, brain power and families that want a vibrant community in which to raise future generations.
As the granddaughter of the founder of River Fields, Archibald Cochran, I believe that he would be disappointed by the tricks and stalls of the current organization and the path we now appear to be heading down. I don't believe this is what he had in mind for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren when he envisioned a great river city.
Mandy Connell Interviews Denis Frankenberger
If you missed Mandy Connell's March 20th show where she called out the fact that there's a lot about the bridges situation that looks dirty and/or irresponsible, be sure and listen to her interview with Denis Frankberger who has made it a personal mission to expose the "stupidity" of the East End Tunnel. According to his research even two consultants hired by the Bridges Authority confirmed there is no historical authenticity to the Drummanard Estate. Stay tuned as he takes on this challenge, potentially in the courts on behalf of taxpayers.