Pharos-Tribune

State News

November 16, 2012

East-end bridge expected to open in 2016

Bid award shows span will be finished early and for less money

INDIANAPOLIS — Under a proposal picked Friday by the state financing authority, the Indiana portion of the long-awaited Ohio River Bridges Project would be completed under budget and far ahead of the original project schedule.

The preliminary proposal approved by the Indiana Finance Authority would design and build what’s known as the east-end crossing for $763 million — 23 percent lower than previous cost estimates — and have a new bridge that connects two sections of Interstate 265 over the Ohio River open to traffic by October 2016. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said the lower-than-expected construction cost opens up the possibility that the tolls that motorists would pay to cross the bridges might also be lower than first predicted.

WVB East End Partners, a consortium made up of Walsh Investors, VINCI Concessions, Bilfinger Berger and other national and international partners, submitted the proposal that edged out three other finalists.

Thursday’s news triggers the final steps toward a joint Indiana-Kentucky construction project that will result in the building of two Ohio River bridges and upgrading highway interchanges around Southern Indiana and Louisville.

Daniels praised the public-private partnership that uses a nontraditional funding mechanism and high expectations for design and construction deadlines to make a project that’s been talked about since the 1970s a reality.

“I’ve gone places where there is a complete change in vocabulary,” said Daniels, after the WVB East End Partners proposal was announced. “What I used to hear was, ‘That will never happen.’ And now I hear, ‘I can’t believe I lived to see it.’”

While Kentucky is using traditional financing for its portion of the project, Indiana will use its share of the toll revenues from project bridges to repay the contracting team’s costs during a period of 35 years following construction.

Nearly 10 years ago, the estimated cost of building the new bridges and improving access to them was more than $4.1 billion. Even two years ago, transportation officials in Indiana and Kentucky thought the project’s price tag would be well more than $2 billion, Daniels said.

There are still some hoops to be jumped through before construction begins; INDOT has already scheduled a public hearing on the project for Dec. 1 in Jeffersonville. The state Finance Authority will have to approve the final plan at a Dec. 3 meeting before it goes back to Daniels for his final approval.

But the governor, now in the final weeks of his two-term tenure in office, was clearly pleased and thinking ahead.

“This will be great for commuters and great for existing businesses on both sides,” he said. “But there isn’t any question this will spark a lot of investment and a lot of new jobs in an area of the state that in 10 years you’ll look at as one of our stars.”

Indiana will be responsible for completing an interstate loop around Louisville by connecting the Gene Snyder Freeway (Ky. 841) with the Lee Hamilton Highway (Ind. 265). Kentucky is responsible for the downtown crossing portion of the project, which will build a new Interstate 65 northbound bridge and reconfigure nearby interchanges in downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville.

On Thursday, Kentucky chose Chicago-based Walsh Construction Co. as its contractor for the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The winning team offered a cost of $971 million with a completion date of Dec. 10, 2016, for the design-build project.

Indiana and Kentucky used similar methods to pick the top proposal, submitted by contractors who had been short-listed by state transportation officials. Price proposals and technical proposals for the projects were scored separately then added together to determine the “best value” contractor for the project.

Technical proposals combined design and construction plans — that made up 25 percent of a composite score — and work force plans for training and including minorities, women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises — that totaled 5 percent of the overall score — and were submitted Oct. 1 and evaluated by a panel of cabinet and consulting professionals, according to the release.

The price proposals, which included both cost and days of construction, made up the remaining portion of the overall score.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Bunker Hill councilman arrested for firing gun BUNKER HILL – A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru. Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowe's plans 1,000-worker Indianapolis call center INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Home-improvement retailer Lowe's says it will open a new call center in Indianapolis that could have up to 1,000 employees in the next couple years. The North Carolina-based retailer announced Tuesday that it would spend about $20

    July 22, 2014

  • 2 men die in separate apparent drownings near Rockville and Morocco ROCKVILLE, Ind. (AP) — State conservation officers say two Indiana men have died in separate apparent drownings. Officers say 29-year-old Terry Johnson of Veedersburg died after divers pulled him Monday from Raccoon Lake near the Parke County town of

    July 22, 2014

  • Former Hartford City councilman sentenced for child molesting HARTFORD CITY (AP) — A former northeastern Indiana city councilman and retired teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on child molesting charges. A Blackford County judge ordered the sentence on Monday against 66-year-old John Adams. He ple

    July 22, 2014

  • 6 Indiana projects get national humanities grants INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three universities in Indiana have been awarded a total of $1.25 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The endowment announced Monday that Indiana University's Indianapolis branch campus is receiving $1

    July 22, 2014

  • Indiana governor's residence gets honey bee hive INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's Governor's Residence is getting a bee hive to call its own. First lady Karen Pence was scheduled to unveil a honey bee hive Tuesday morning at the Governor's Residence on Indianapolis' north side. The hive and its bees w

    July 22, 2014

  • Indiana man pleads not guilty to courthouse threat HAMMOND (AP) — A man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he threatened to blow up an Indiana courthouse and kill judges and police officers. Twenty-two-year-old Samuel Bradbury of Pine Village entered the plea during a federal court hearin

    July 22, 2014

  • 2 in custody after Greene County man found slain in home SOLSBERRY (AP) — Indiana State Police say two men considered persons of interest have been taken into custody after a Greene County man was found slain in his rural home. Sgt. Curt Durnil says Indianapolis police took 35-year-old Jason Lee Caldwell o

    July 21, 2014

  • Indiana's bills for highway damage face challenge INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A trucking company is asking the state appeals court to limit the Indiana Department of Transportation's authority to sue over damage done to state highways. The challenge is in court as the highway agency is trying to collect mor

    July 21, 2014

  • Downed jet victim was NW Indiana exchange student DEMOTTE (AP) — An Indiana University graduate student's boyfriend who died with her on the downed plane in Ukraine had spent six months in northwestern Indiana as a high school exchange student. Jenny Jonkman says Laurens Van Der Graaff came from the

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.