Top executive for Ohio River project out

Steve Schultz, head of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, has resigned from his role as chief of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The Indiana native will remain involved with the project as a special adviser.

A veteran policymaker appointed to financially engineer the Ohio River Bridges Project at its 2010 onset has resigned in part because of the now-bifurcated nature of the cross-state infrastructure undertaking.

Steve Schultz joined the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority – the bi-state department responsible for handling the multibillion dollar undertaking – as executive director when the feted “mega-project” was initially conceived as a public-private partnership (PPP).

But by 2012 a would-be full-on PPP was nixed when Kentucky opted to pursue a traditional design-build approach while Indiana remained wedded to privatisation. 

Each state authority, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), subsequently issued a request for qualification (RFQ), as well as compiled its own shortlist.

The project itself, totalling $2.6 billion, has remained on-track, with either state managing its portion separately – an arrangement that called into question the need for the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority.

A spokeswoman for the authority did not respond to a request for comment by press time. It could not be ascertained if Schultz, who could not be reached, would be replaced.

Lawyer Schultz will work with the IFA as a special adviser, according to a press statement, which went on to claim he will be integral in helping Indiana reach commercial close on its half of the bridge project.

The IFA is currently evaluating consortia including SNC-Lavalin, ACS, InfraRed Capital Partners and VINCI Concessions.

Shultz, an Ivy League graduate, has worked as chief counsel to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as well as a corporate lawyer.