7:27pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Seeks Transportation Contractors

Kentucky is seeking teams of contractors to design and build a new downtown Louisville bridge, a modernized downtown interchange and improved I-65 connections to Southern Indiana, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock announced Monday. The notice of intent is the first step to procurement of Kentucky’s half of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

Kentucky is seeking teams of contractors to design and build a new downtown Louisville bridge, a modernized downtown interchange and improved I-65 connections to Southern Indiana, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock announced Monday.

The notice of intent is the first step to procurement of Kentucky’s half of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, a bi-state partnership with the State of Indiana to build two new bridges and enhance interstate connections that will improve safety, congestion and mobility for the Kentuckiana region, according to a state press release.

Contractor teams from around the region, nation and world are invited to attend a pre-bid meeting beginning at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 1, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. Information is available online at http://transportation.ky.gov/Construction-Procurement/Pages/default.aspx.

“We are determined to select a proven team of professionals that will bring innovative approaches to reduce costs, speed construction and deliver a reliable transportation system that will serve citizens of Kentucky and Indiana for decades to come,” Hancock said.

Under a procurement plan developed by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the two states are working together to begin construction by year’s end on the estimated $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

The downtown portion of the project, which is Kentucky’s responsibility, has an estimated price tag of $1.3 billion – half of the project’s total cost. Indiana is leading the way on procurement and construction of the other half, the new East End bridge and roadway connections that will link the Gene Snyder Expressway in Louisville with the Lee Hamilton Expressway in Southern Indiana.

The two states are working with the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority to finalize a plan to finance the overall project using a combination of traditional transportation dollars and revenues from tolls collected on the new and improved bridges.

The new Six-Year Highway Plan that Beshear has recommended to the Kentucky General Assembly includes $50 million a year in traditional funding as well as sales of federally backed GARVEE bonds and toll revenue bonds to help finance the downtown portion of the project. The first two years of funding are part of Beshear’s proposed biennial budget under consideration by the General Assembly.

Proposals will be evaluated using a formula that will consider four major factors:

· Cost;
· Schedule;
· Technical approach; and
· An inclusion plan for Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBEs), such as minority- and women-owned businesses.

The state Transportation Cabinet will select a contractor team later this year with the goal of awarding a contract by October. The anticipated completion date is June 2018.