Public half of $2.6bn Ohio Bridges advances

Kentucky has launched the tender process for the design-build of a new $1.3bn bridge – half of the larger Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project. Indiana plans to pursue a public-private partnership to develop its half of the project.

The state of Kentucky has kick-started procurement for the design-build, operate and maintain of the Louisville bridge – one of two connectors that form part of the $2.6 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project.

Kentucky and Indiana are the architects behind the mega-project and each have agreed to accept responsibility for financing 50 percent of the development. For its part, Indiana has revealed its intention to pursue a public-private partnership (PPP) to build its half of the project, while Kentucky – which lags Indiana in legislation for PPPs – will follow a traditional design-build, operate and maintain structure for its bridge.

Kentucky is hosting a pre-bid meeting on March 1 and is inviting interested contractors to attend. Ultimately, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will use a two-pronged evaluation process to determine the winning contracting team. Initially, the agency will launch a Request for Qualifications, from which a shortlist of contenders will be drawn up, followed by a Request for Proposal to the shortlisted bidders.

The state expects to award a contract this year with an expected completion date for the project of June 2018.