I was a steadfast critic of the project to build two bridges across the Ohio River in Louisville for a decade. In fact, my first critical post on the bridges proposal was put up in 2007 less than six months after starting my original Urbanophile blog.
But the end result was even worse than I anticipated. The project has proven to be a money waster of the highest order and, I assert, the biggest American transportation boondoggle I can identify in the 21st century so far.
Part of the agreement between Indiana and Kentucky to build the bridges was that they would do official before and after surveys of traffic to determine the impact of the new bridges on traffic flow. The study was published in August of last year.
The two states spent $1.3 billion to build a parallel Interstate 65 span in downtown Louisville that doubled the capacity of that crossing. After spending that money, traffic fell by 50%.
Let me repeat that: Indiana and Kentucky spent $1.3 billion to double the capacity of a road while traffic levels were cut in half.