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Kennedy Bridge Painting

The I-65 John F. Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville viewed from Louisville's Waterfront Park. The bridge in the background is the "Big Four" railroad bridge.
The John F. Kennedy Bridge [details]

A project to repaint I-65's Kennedy Bridge over The Ohio River at Louisville has been marked by scandal. This page contains a collection of news items about the bridge repainting scandal.

Related images: [25 images related to this topic.]

Related image gallery: [I-65 - John F. Kennedy Bridge]

Related news topics: [Interstate 65] [Jefferson County] [The Ohio River]


Kennedy Bridge Painting News Items

[The Ohio River]
Picnic Area to Open under Kennedy Bridge
Posted: 31-Mar-2009 9:29PM CDT

Now that I-65's Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River has been repainted, an area underneath the bridge that had been used by the repainting contractors is being converted into a picnic area: Louisville Courier-Journal: Picnic area being built under Kennedy Bridge; Tables to offer 'killer view' (March 27, 2009) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Search is on for Another Kennedy Bridge Painting Contractor
Posted: 30-Jul-2006 11:11PM CDT

The state will try for a third time to have the I-65 Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River painted: Courier-Journal: Kennedy bridge looking for yet another painter (May 8, 2006) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge will just be taupe; To save money, time, 2 colors cut (June 14, 2006) [Outside Link], Associated Press: State Rejects Lone Bid For Kennedy Bridge Painting (June 25, 2006) [Outside Link], Business First of Louisville: Bridge repainting bid comes in over budget (July 21, 2006) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting Contract Cancelled
Posted: 1-Mar-2006 2:39AM CST

Earlier this month, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet cancelled a $17.8 million contract with Atlantic Painting Company for painting Louisville’s Kennedy Bridge. The state claims that Atlantic Painting was making sufficient progress towards completing the bridge repainting project: Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge painting deal canceled; State says job only 6 percent complete (Feb. 9, 2006) [Outside Link], Associated Press: State cancels bridge painting company's contract (Feb. 9, 2006) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting Project Halts
Posted: 5-Feb-2006 2:27AM CST

Atlantic Painting Co., the contractor responsible for painting the I-65 Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville, recently walked off the project. The company claims that the weather is too cold for painting. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is unsure when work will resume: Courier-Journal: Painting work stops on Kennedy Bridge; State, company will discuss finishing job (Dec. 10, 2005) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: State might extend deadline for painting Kennedy Bridge (Jan. 8, 2006) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Two Companies Fined in Kennedy Bridge Painting Accident
Posted: 2-Oct-2005 8:30PM CDT

Two companies have been fined for safety violations relating to an accident that caused the death of a worker on the Kennedy Bridge Painting project: Louisville Courier-Journal: 2 companies fined in fatal fall from bridge (Sept. 21, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Repainting Continues
Posted: 30-Apr-2005 5:54AM CDT

Part of the Kennedy Bridge is being sandblasted in preparation for repainting: Courier-Journal: Sandblasting preps bridge; Kennedy span soon will get its long-awaited paint job (April 21, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
October and Year-End Transportation Konnection Newsletters
Posted: 11-Dec-2004 12:20AM CST

The October 2004 and the 2004 Year-in-Review editions of the transportation cabinet’s newsletter have been posted to the KYTC Konnection page [Outside Link].

Among stories covered in the October 2004 edition are:

  • The SAFE program that aids broken down motorists.
  • Information about a KYTC employee’s trip to Russia to participate in an engineering exchange program.
  • Coverage of the installation of new “Move Over or Slow Down for Stopped Emergency Vehicle” signs.
  • Coverage of ceremonial beginning of the Kennedy Bridge repainting project.
  • A story about KYTC employees rescuing a cat from an Ohio River bridge.
  • Information about the opening of a reconstructed segment of US 421 in Harlan County.

Download: [Transportation Konnection October 2004] (2.51 MB)

Among stories covered in the 2004 Year-in-Review edition are:

  • Information and photographs of work on I-66 in Pulaski County.

Download: [Transportation Konnection 2004 Year-in-Review] (2.32 MB)

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[The Ohio River]
Ceremonial Painting Marks Start of Kennedy Bridge Repainting Project
Posted: 17-Oct-2004 8:31AM CDT

The ceremonial painting of a beam at Louisville’s Waterfront Park marked the beginning of a multi-year project to repaint I-65’s bridge over the Ohio River. The bridge will be painted in a scheme consisting of three colors: green, beige and chestnut brown. The project is also being staged in such away to limit the impact on motorists. Usually, at most one lane in either direction will be closed; however, two lanes may be closed between the hours of 1am-5am throughout the duration of the project. The pain job is expected to last for 30 to 40 years.

More information: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Ceremonial Painting On Louisville's Kennedy Bridge Marks Beginning Of Project (Oct. 14, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting Project Begins
Posted: 10-Oct-2004 11:50PM CDT

After years of delays and scandals, another project to repaint the Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville has begun. The $8.7 million project has a deadline of July 31, 2006. The bridge was last painted in the 1970s.

More information: Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge paint job starts (Oct. 8, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting Underway
Posted: 6-Sep-2004 8:59PM CDT

Work was to begin in late August to repaint the Kennedy Bridge. The project is expected to last until August 2006.

More information: Business First of Louisville: Long-awaited painting of Kennedy Bridge begins (August 23, 2004) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge Readied for Painting Project (August 24, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Indiana to Split Costs of Painting Kennedy Bridge
Posted: 20-Aug-2004 5:34AM CDT

Under the terms of a little publicized agreement signed shortly before the bridge’s 1963 opening, Indiana is entitled to pay for half the costs of repainting the I-65 Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River. Indiana has reimbursed $4 million for costs incurred so far: Courier-Journal: Indiana to split cost of painting I-65 span (July 30, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Contract Awarded to Paint the Kennedy Bridge
Posted: 24-Jun-2004 1:29AM CDT

That state has awarded a contract to paint the Kennedy Bridge. The winning contract was awarded to Atlantic Painting Co. of Oak Lawn, Ill. That company submitted the low bid at $17,777,777. Work is planned to begin by August, and the deadline for project completion is July 31, 2006. This project will be the largest project ever undertaken by Atlantic Painting.

Painting of the bridge was suspended in 2001 after contractors disclosed a state bridge inspector had been asking for bribes.

More information: Courier-Journal: Contract to be awarded to paint Kennedy Bridge (June 5, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: State Ready to Try to Paint Bridge Again, Two Years After Scandal (June 5, 2004) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: State ready to try to paint bridge again (June 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: Bridge of Scandal to Get Paint at Last (June 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Painting Contract Awarded for Louisville's Kennedy Bridge (June 17, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Kentucky awards $17.8 million contract to repaint Ohio River bridge (June 17, 2004) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge painting due soon (June 18, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge to Finally be Painted
Posted: 21-Apr-2004 5:04AM CDT

If all goes as planned, by the end of 2005 I-65’s Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River will be completely repainted for the first time since 1977. Originally the bridge was to be repainted in 1993; however, inspectors found cracks that needed to be repaired before continuing. In 1999, workers began repainting the bridge. The job ended two years later when contractors walked off the job claiming that state inspectors had solicited bribes. One inspector pleaded guilty to federal charges and is serving a six-year jail term.

More information: Courier-Journal: Eyesore bridge up for a paint job (Apr. 1, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting May Resume
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:48AM CST

Work to repaint the I-65 Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River may soon resume. The transportation cabinet plans to let bids for the project this month.

Work to repaint the bridge was stopped in October of 2001 after it was revealed that a transportation cabinet bridge inspector was soliciting bribes from contractors who were paining the bridge.

More information: Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge work may resume (Dec. 6, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Bridge-painting, stopped after bribery scandal, may get jump-start (Dec. 6, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Scandal Coverage
Posted: 18-Jul-2003 5:42AM CDT

The transportation cabinet has run into a number of scandals of late. Here is a run down of articles related to the transportation cabinet's woes:

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[The Ohio River]
KYTC Settlement with Whistle-Blower
Posted: 14-Feb-2003 8:44PM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reached a sealed settlement with Ron Gardner, a KYTC employee who alerted officials that inspectors were extorting bribes from contractors.

A judge opened the settlement in January at the request of the Courier-Journal. It was revealed that the KYTC paid Gardner $480,000 to settle the lawsuit.

More information: Daily Independent: Cabinet seals settlement with employee in whistle-blower case (Jan. 12, 2003) [Outside Link], Herald-Leader: Bridge-painting lawsuit sealed (Jan. 12, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: State settled suit for $480,000 (Jan. 24, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
New Transportation Cabinet Inspector General Named
Posted: 6-Sep-2002 11:20PM CDT

A new Inspector General has been named for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The new inspector, Robert Russell, will have the ability to report either to the Transportation Cabinet Secretary or directly to the Governor. Over the last 18-months several cases of corruption have been reported in the transportation cabinet, including the scandal surrounding the repainting of the Kennedy Bridge in Louisville.

More information: Herald-Leader: Transit cabinet monitor is named (Sept. 6, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Sentencing of Kennedy Bridge Inspector Delayed
Posted: 24-Aug-2002 4:00AM CDT

The sentencing for Kevin Lee Earles has been rescheduled for Sept. 27 to allow his lawyers more to prepare arguments against extra prison time sought by the government. Earles, a 23 year veteran of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, plead guilty to soliciting bribes from contractor that was repainting the Kennedy Bridge in downtown Louisville. Lawyers for the government are seeking added prison time because it has been revealed that Earles threatened to kill his victims.

In conversations secretly recorded by the FBI, Earles told a foreman that he would kill the foreman is the foreman turned him in. Earles threatened to ruin the business of the contractor and claimed to have previously used his tactics against a contractor repainting a bridge in Owensboro.

More information: Courier-Journal: Bridge inspector's sentencing postponed (Aug. 22, 2002) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Bridge inspector threatened to kill foreman, tapes show (Aug. 20, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting Doomed from the Start
Posted: 12-Aug-2002 7:36PM CDT

A report commissioned by the FBI finds that the $14 million project to repaint the Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville was doomed from the start. The study reports that officials disregarded concerns that the project would wash old lead based paint into the Ohio River. The method of painting was also attacked: the state planned to "overcoat" the existing paint. The study predicted that this method would fail because the existing paint is unstable and would peel off. Work on painting the bridge was suspended in 2001 due to FBI inquiries alleged bribery and other flaws in oversight.

More information: Courier-Journal: Study blasts project to paint bridge (August 10, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Bridge Inspector 'Hammered' Two Previous Contractors
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 1:35AM CDT

The Courier-Journal reports that a transportation cabinet bridge inspector, Kevin L. Earles, who pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes told contractors that he had "hammered" two previous contractors. The federal government is investigating to see if Earles had solicited other contractors for bribes.

More information: Courier-Journal: Memo: Bridge inspector cited earlier bribes (June 21, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Two Bridge Contractors Attack Report
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 12:49AM CDT

Two bridge contractors who were solicited for bribes have attacked an audit of the Transportation Cabinet saying that is flawed by omissions and errors.

Full story: Courier-Journal: 2 bridge contractors attack report (June 4, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Report Encourages Transportation Cabinet Reform
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 12:03AM CDT

The Transportation Cabinet's Reform and Review Committee, which was created last year to identify problems in the cabinet, has submitted a report which finds that the cabinet failed to investigate claims of extortion, oversee the work of a bridge inspector, and monitor a minority hiring program. The committee has suggested the creation of an Inspector General's Office to continue to monitor the work of the transportation cabinet.

More information: Courier-Journal: Reforms urged for Transportation Cabinet (May 10, 2002) [Outside Link], Messenger-Inquirer: Report: Most Transportation problems resolved (May 10, 2002) [Outside Link], KYTC Press Release [Outside Link]

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[I-65]
Former Bridge Inspector Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes
Posted: 15-Apr-2002 4:47PM CDT

Kevin L. Earles, a 23-year veteran employee of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, pleaded guilty on March 28 to federal anti-corruption charges. He was accused of soliciting bribes during an inspection of the Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville. The Kennedy Bridge carries I-65 into Southern Indiana.

More information: Courier-Journal: Bridge Inspector Who Took Bribes Pleads Guilty [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
KYTC Regroups After Scandals
Posted: 10-Jan-2002 6:03PM CST

This Courier-Journal article [Outside Link] reports that Transportation Secretary James Codell has called for am "internal process audit" to determine what the transport cabinet has done wrong after recent scandals involving bridge inspections, fraud in a minority business program, and problems in the driver's licenses office.

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[I-65]
Bridge Inspector Indicted
Posted: 5-Dec-2001 6:50AM CST

According to this Courier-Journal article [Outside Link] a federal grand jury in Louisville indicted Kevin Lee Earles, 41, on three counts of extortion for allegedly demanding bribes that totaled $18,000. Earles was a KYTC inspector for painting work being done on the Kennedy Bridge in Louisville. He reportedly told a painting-company executive that there was a ''history'' of making payments to inspectors.

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[I-65]
Second Lawsuit Filed over Kennedy Bridge Work
Posted: 4-Nov-2001 5:53AM CST

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports in this article [Outside Link] that a second lawsuit has been filed over alleged illegal activity regarding inspection of the Kennedy Bridge. In this lawsuit, a KYTC employee claims he was demoted after reporting that state inspectors were falsifying records, getting kickbacks from a supplier and soliciting bribes from contractors.

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[I-65]
Suit Filed Regarding Kennedy Bridge Work
Posted: 25-Oct-2001 5:22PM CDT

The Courier-Journal reports in this Oct. 25, 2001 article [Outside Link] that a lawsuit has been filed claiming that KYTC officials and bridge inspectors solicited bribes regarding repainting work on the Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River in Louisville.

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