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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Summer 2002 arrow Kentucky and Indiana: Development of Transportation Enhancements
Kentucky and Indiana: Development of Tranportation Enhancements

Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Proposed highway improvements to ease congestion between Kentucky and Indiana have met with opposition by local preservation groups concerned with the project’s effects on historic properties. The project has the potential to substantially affect a number of important properties and districts, including the historic Swartz Farm and the Country Estates of River Road Historic District.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has proposed alternatives for transportation enhancements between Kentucky and Indiana to help alleviate traffic congestion.

These alternatives include reconfiguration of the Kennedy Interchange that connects three interstate highways in downtown Louisville; the replacement of the existing Downtown Bridge over the Ohio River between Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana; and the construction of a new bridge across the Ohio River that connects Clark County, Indiana, and Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Preservation groups are concerned about sites such as the West Main Street Historic District, Country Estates of River Road Historic District, the Old Jeffersonville Historic District, the Butchertown Historic District, and the Swartz Farm.

West Main Street Historic District with Louisville Slugger statue in background, Louisville, Kentucky



West Main Street Historic District with Louisville Slugger statue in background, Louisville, KY
(staff photo)



Indian tribes have raised concerns about the limited information that has been gathered about Kentucky’s archeological resources, and the potential for deeply buried archeological resources in the proposed construction areas in both Kentucky and Indiana.

In 2001, FHWA met with the project’s consulting parties—nearly 30 in all—including city and State agencies and preservation and tribal groups. They discussed concerns about the agency’s role in the Section 106 review process, the involvement of tribes, the project schedule and area of potential effect, the scope and consistency of identification, and the need for additional studies and documentation.

Some also questioned the need for a new bridge, suggesting that improvements to the Kennedy Interchange and the Downtown Bridge would be sufficient to correct traffic congestion.

FHWA consulted with participating tribes to determine the treatment of properties of religious or cultural significance to the tribes, and to discuss their concerns with the agency’s plans for phased identification and assessment of effects for archeological sites.

Based on consultation, FHWA issued a draft Assessment of Effects report. It issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement in November 2001, with no preferred alternative. FHWA met with the consulting parties in 2002 to resolve remaining identification issues.

Following consultation, FHWA invited the consulting parties to submit written comments on the Assessment of Effects report, as well as another FHWA report on the project’s indirect and cumulative effects.

The Kentucky and Indiana governors will make their recommendations on a preferred alternative for the project in July 2002, and FHWA should make a decision soon thereafter.

Staff contact: Laura Henley Dean

Posted August 8, 2002

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