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with Section 106 Section
106 in Action Archive
of Prominent Section 106 Cases Kentucky-Indiana: Implementation
of Louisville-South Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project
Implementation of Louisville-South Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project
Agency: Federal Highway
Criteria for ACHP Involvement:
- This project could have substantial effects on important historic
properties, including numerous individual properties as well as historic
districts, some of which possess exceptional quality (Criterion 1).
- There is substantial public concern about effects to historic
properties, especially regarding construction of an eastern Ohio River
crossing (Criterion 3).
In May 2001, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened a workshop
for consulting parties to discuss Section 106 compliance for the proposed
construction of new crossings of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky.
Issues discussed at the meeting included FHWAs role in the Section
106 process to date, the projects area of potential effect (APE),
the scope and consistency of the identification of historic properties,
tribal involvement, the project schedule, and the need for additional
studies and documentation. Further comments were provided by the consulting
parties in mid-July 2001 during a two-day tour of the project area.
Downtown Louisville, Kentucky, site of proposed
bridge (staff photo)
FHWA has proposed a general APE for the overall project as well as alternative-specific
APEs. Some consulting parties have expressed concern that the overall
APE does not encompass the entire area impacted by indirect and cumulative
effects of the project and that the alternative-specific APEs do not adequately
address all effects of the project on historic properties.
Most importantly, consulting parties continue to question the legitimacy
of the transportation need for construction of both a downtown bridge
and a new eastern bridge at this time. Consulting parties have also asked
FHWA to apply consistent standards to the identification and evaluation
of historic properties. ACHP recommended that any disagreements
regarding eligibility should be resolved by the Keeper of the National
In response to such comments, FHWA is considering expanding the APE and
has sought the Keepers formal evaluation for certain properties.
FHWA has also completed a draft assessment of effects and will host a
consultation meeting on October 3, 2001, to discuss these findings. FHWA
expects to complete its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by
October 31, 2001. Meanwhile, in September 2001, consulting party River
Fields, Inc., filed suit in Federal district court seeking an injunction
to cause FHWA to provide documentation requested by the organization during
the Section 106 process.
The State transportation agencies of Kentucky and Indiana propose to
construct two bridges over the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentuckyone
between downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana, and a new eastern
crossing between Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Clark County, Indiana.
(For more information on the project, visit www.kyinbridges.com/.)
Louisville is Kentuckys largest metropolitan area and has experienced
considerable growth during the past decade, mostly in eastern Jefferson
County. FHWA predicts a 35 per cent increase over existing travel demand
volume in the project area by 2025.
Numerous and important individual historic properties and historic districts
have been identified in the APE in urban and rural contexts. One of the
most prominent properties, the Country Estates of River Road Historic
District, is Kentuckys only intact example of the era of country
house construction. The historic district, whose period of significance
ranges from 1875 to 1938, consists of 61 contributing buildings, sites,
and structures. Archeological sites that could be of religious or cultural
significance to Indian tribes have also been identified, but remain to
Not surprisingly, more than 20 consulting parties have been identified,
including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Eastern Band
of the Cherokee Indians, Historic Landmarks of Indiana, the Clark County
Historical Society, and River Fields, Inc.
The project will receive Federal funding from FHWA, which, in 1998, issued
notice of the preparation of an EIS for the project. Various alternate
corridors have been considered and are now reduced to a set that will
be carried forward for review in the draft EIS. There are two downtown
alternatives, along with a near east and several far east alternatives
FHWA had anticipated that the draft EIS would be completed by summer
2000, with the final EIS completed in 2001. However, these deadlines were
not met, and FHWA must now complete the draft by October 31, 2001. Accordingly,
Section 106 consultation is on a fast track.
Consulting parties have argued that the project will lead to significant
indirect and cumulative adverse effects in the form of sprawl development,
especially in Indiana. The adequacy of the scope of the APE and of identification
efforts to address these kinds of effects is in question.
Staff contact: Laura
June 6, 2002
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