Map courtesy of River Ridge

Map courtesy of River Ridge

Ind. Gov. Mike Pence made a trip down South today to break ground on a new road that, once complete, will connect the 6,000-acre River Ridge Commerce Center and the Port of Indiana in Jeffersonville.

“Indiana is the Crossroads of America, and our business-friendly climate continues to attract economic and employment growth across the state,” Pence said in a news release. “River Ridge Commerce Center already boasts an estimated $1.3 billion of overall economic impact to the state and will invite further large-scale industrial development and investment that will benefit the Southeast region and the state overall.”

The road, a heavy haul thoroughfare meant to accommodate truck traffic, is a multi-phase, $30.4 million project and part of River Ridge’s plan to craft an attractive entrance for the business park.

The first phase of the project will run through River Ridge and connect the new Old Salem Road interchange at Interstate 265 with State Road 62, according to the release. It is expected to be complete by early fall 2016.

The second phase then will connect the Port of Indiana in Jeffersonville to the Old Salem Road interchange.

“The possibilities of attracting large scale industrial projects to the Port of Indiana and River Ridge increase tremendously when these two economic engines are connected to the East End Bridge and to each other with a heavy haul road and rail connection,” Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana, said in the release.

“At the end of the day when all phases of this project are complete, it will provide businesses in southern Indiana and the Greater Louisville metropolitan area with transportation cost savings and a sustainable competitive advantage.”

The project is being fund through a partnership with River Ridge Commerce Center, the Ports of Indiana, Clark County, the city of Jeffersonville, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency.