CART Files Suit against Ohio River Bridges Project

Fourteen complaints made on Civil Rights, Environmental and Financial Grounds

Louisville, Kentucky – On September 4, 2012, the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (CART), a Louisville-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation commenced legal action against the Ohio River Bridges Project.  CART has been an advocate for forward-thinking, environmentally sound, multi-modal public transportation solutions since 1994.  In 2004, after nearly 10 million dollars of public expenses, environmental and economic studies, and ultimate Federal approval, the “T2” plan for a light rail backbone to an integrated network of multimodal public transportation was scrapped by local politicians in favor of the Ohio River Bridges Project.  The $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project will provide very little benefit, economic, social, environmental, or otherwise, to the vast majority of residents in the Louisville region and has significant negative economic, social  and environmental impacts on the community as a whole,  and particularly on people living in Louisville’s urban core and west end.   In addition, the $2.6 billion price tag for the Ohio River Bridges Project leaves no money for public transportation and effectively prevents any improvements to the regional public transportation system in the foreseeable future.  

CART makes 14 claims against the Ohio River Bridges Project on numerous legal grounds including civil rights violations, violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, financing violations, and failure to apply due diligence with regard to route selection for the east end bridge.

 More specifically CART claims that actions of the Defendants, The Federal Highway Administration, The Indiana Department of Transportation, and The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, in a scheme to privatize the free interstate system and move business and jobs far from Louisville’s urban core are:

  •  Tolling a newly constructed Downtown Bridge on Interstate 65 for 46 years without statutory authority,
  • Planning to collect $10 billion in toll revenue until 2058 for a $ 2.5 billion Project to the benefit of private interests,
  • Violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because the Ohio River Bridges Project toll collection scheme disproportionately impacts Title VI classes for 46 years,
  • Excavating an estimated 350,000 tons of spoil resulting from the construction of tunnels and hauling it to undisclosed locations,
  • Expected to cause or contribute to violations of air quality standards due to a 146% increase in vehicle traffic, condemning Louisville to persistent unhealthy air quality,
  • Thoughtlessly risking catastrophic pollution of the entire region’s drinking water by locating the East End Bridge and tunnels in the Wellhead Protection Area of the Louisville Water Company’s riverbank filtration wells.
  • Hiding insider deals for right-of-way acquisitions and failing to properly evaluate and compare environmental and social impacts with alternative routes,
  • Intentionally denying the low income and minority population in the urban core and west end affordable transit connections to potential economic development in the suburbs in violation of Title VI.

To read the full complaint click here (400 kb PDF alert) -->  Full Complaint