Ohio's Innerbelt Bridge project awarded

The first PPP in the US state of Ohio has named a preferred bidder.

A $273 million bid to knock down and replace the Innerbelt Bridge was enough for Ohio to contract the project to a consortium comprising Trumbull Corporation, The Great Lakes Construction Company, The Ruhlin Company and URS Corporation.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in a press announcement noted the team proposed to design, build and finance the demolition of the ageing bridge as well as the construction of a new eastbound bridge for $273 million, earning it preferred bidder status.

The cost of the job had been estimated to top $330 million. The Innerbelt project is the first-ever public-private partnership (PPP; P3) for Ohio, a densely populated state in the Midwest region of the US. A truss arch bridge, the Innerbelt was built in 1959 to extend Interstate 90 (I-90) over the Cuyahoga River and is located in the city of Cleveland.

Innerbelt was closed to commercial trucking traffic in 2008. ODOT is in the process of building a new westbound overpass. Enabling legislation passed in 2011 allowed the Department to set up a PPP office, dubbed the ‘Department of Innovative Delivery,’ as well as use alternative financing and procurement to complete the eastbound half of the Innerbelt project.

ODOT published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the PPP in February. In addition to Trumbull, Great Lakes, Ruhlin and URS, a consortium teaming Kokosing Construction Company and Michael Banker Junior, as well as a consortium of Walsh Construction and HDR Engineering, were also considered for the Innerbelt project.

The Department did not disclose the total amount of each bid. The westbound structure of the bridge will open to traffic in the autumn, while demolition of the existing Innerbelt is also scheduled to begin at that time, according to ODOT.