Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Editorials

March 15, 2012

Taking a toll

Kentucky, Indiana governors reach commendable accord

ASHLAND — Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky and Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana have agreed on tolls for two new Ohio River bridges in Louisville plus a third bridge that will be revamped. The new tolls are much more reasonable than the tolls orignally proposed for the bridges, which were so high that they would have been a financial hardship on those who must cross one or more of the bridges daily to get to and from work.

The agreement between two governors calls for tolls beginning at about $1 per crossing for traffic on two new Ohio River bridges and the revamped Kennedy Bridge on Interstate 65. The agreement signed by Govs. Daniels and Beshear calls for tolling to start once the first span is completed in 2017 or 2018.

The toll prices aren’t set yet, but plans calls for $1 per crossing for frequent commuters in cars, SUVs and other passenger vehicles using transponders; about $2 for other cars, SUVs and passenger vehicles; about $5 for panel trucks and about $10 for tractor-trailers.

An earlier proposal called for $4 tolls for passenger vehicles. That would have meant that those using the bridges to get to and from work would be paying $8 per day or $40 per week. That’s quite a chunk, especially for those working part-time in minimum wage jobs in the fast food industry as many young people do.

The two states have little choice but to charge tolls to cross the bridges. At an estimated cost of more than $1 billion, the bridges are too costly for either state’s budgets. The only viable option was to charge “user fees” in the form of tolls. But a $4 toll would be so high it actually would have encouraged drivers to look for other ways to cross the river that separates Kentucky from Indiana. While they may not like paying a fee to cross a river they now can cross for free, most motorists will be willing to pay a $1 toll, considering it the cost of progress.

Indiana will oversee the construction of what’s called the East End bridge linking Indiana’s Lee Hamilton Expressway and Kentucky’s Gene Snyder Freeway. Kentucky will build the new I-65 bridge and improve the Kennedy bridge.

The bridges are critically needed and have been discussed for many years. Finally, they are nearing the point when actual construction begins. Both Republican Daniels and Democrat Beshear have made the bridges a high priority and are largely responsible for getting the spans off of square one. We commend them for that.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Positive trend

    For those adults who have a low opinion of American teenagers, Uncle Sam’s latest study of worrisome behavior among teens provides some good news: Teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. Most forms of drug use, weapons use and risky sex also are declining — and have been since 1991, the year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first started surveying teens about  their behavior.

    July 24, 2014

  • Research's value

    In pushing for a higher education reform bill in the late 1990s, former Gov. Paul Patton set an ambitious goal of having the University of Kentucky become a Top 20 research university by 2020. UK has yet to accomplish that goal, but UK and the University of Louisville both have made great advances in research in recent years.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deadline is near

    People with Kentucky driver’s licenses may soon be required to show a passport or some other accepted form of federal identification to enter “restricted” or “semi-restricted” areas of federal facilities, including federal courthouses, military bases, federal prisons and a wide range of other federal offices.

    July 23, 2014

  • Issue is safety

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has recommended softball  “players at first base, third base and pitcher utilize the permissive requirement in the playing rules and wear face/head protection.”

    July 23, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • 0518greene.jpeg Greene-Lounsberry

    John and Eva Greene of Greenup are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacey Nicole Greene, to Jonathan Wesley Lounsberry.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo