The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Thursday issued guidelines for selecting three teams that will compete to build a new I-65 bridge in downtown Louisville and rebuild interstate connections on both sides of the Ohio River. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeks design-build teams of bridge- and road-building professionals that will be judged on their proven experience, innovative ideas, inclusion of minorities and women in the workforce and ability to deliver the best value on schedule, according to a press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
So far, nearly 500 professionals have registered to attend a March 1 pre-bid meeting at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Pre-registration remains open through Feb. 27 by logging on to the KYTC website, www.transportation.ky.gov, or the Bridges Project website, www.kyinbridges.com.
This meeting is mandatory for contractors who intend to be the lead of a design-build team. However, every company interested in bidding on the project should send a representative.
Under the RFQ, all teams will be required to submit their qualifications by April 2 and the cabinet will select the three competing finalists by April 16. Teams will spend the summer developing specific proposals that will include innovative concepts, technical designs and cost details.
The schedule calls for the winning team to be selected in October, allowing preliminary construction work to begin before year’s end. The massive construction project – which includes a new downtown I-65 bridge, overhauling the existing Kennedy Bridge, rebuilding the downtown Louisville interchange and new interstate connections in southern Indiana – is scheduled for completion on or before June 30, 2018.
To spur competition among the finalists, the state Transportation Cabinet will offer $1.5 million stipends to the two teams not selected for the project. The cabinet will retain all innovative concepts developed by the teams for possible use by the selected bidder. This best-practice approach has been used successfully in other states to lower overall project costs, spur innovation and speed construction.
The RFQ and other documents related to the Downtown Phase procurement can be viewed on the KYTC website, www.transportation.ky.gov.
The construction in downtown Louisville is part of the larger, bi-state project in which a bridge also will be built to link I-265 in eastern Jefferson County with Indiana Route 265 near Utica, Ind.
The project is a cooperative effort of KYTC, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority.