Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing

This $1.5 billion dollar project was a joint venture between Kentucky and Indiana to improve safety, traffic flow, and economic integration between the two states. This ambitious project involved the building of two bridges. The East End Crossing (Lewis and Clark Bridge) connects the city of Prospect and the town of Utica.  The Downtown Crossing (Abraham Lincoln Bridge) connects downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville.

S&ME was a member of the design-build team providing quality control and quality assurance services for the Downtown Crossing.  The construction challenges were considerable. Located in the heart of Kentucky’s busiest urban area, daily traffic reached 250,000 vehicles.  In addition to the new I-65 bridge, the project involved rehabilitation of Kentucky Bridge (I-65) with six southbound lanes. It also required reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction (I-64, I-65 and I-71) on the Kentucky approaches, and reconfiguration of the Indiana roadway and bridge approaches. Finally, prohibitive right-of-way issues required traffic lanes to remain open during construction.

S&ME performed construction engineering and inspection (CEI) and construction materials testing services. To accommodate the scale of the project, we established a 4500 sf highway district materials testing laboratory certified by Kentucky and Indiana.  A heavy urban area meant that waste areas were non-existent. Evaluating mixtures of good and bad fill materials to determine their suitability for use and properties was therefore critical to the project success. In addition, our team provided welding and bolting inspections, NDT testing and coring to determine if existing structures could be incorporated into the new structures. S&ME also performed traffic inspections and striping reflectivity.


  • Project leadership from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)
  • Financed through the Federal Highway Administration
  • The volume of asphalt exceeded the total amount produced from all other Kentucky roadway projects in a year