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Indiana Reaches Commercial Close on Ohio River Bridges P3

The Indiana Finance Authority Friday announced it had finalized its agreement and reached commercial close on a deal with WVB East End Partners to design and build the state's part of the massive bi-state Ohio River Bridges Project. The state expects to reach financial close by spring of 2013, the IFA said.

Under the public-private partnership agreement, the team will design and build Indiana's portion of the project for $763 million -- $225 million less than originally projected -- by the end of October 2016.

"I've been told by more than one person that they've never seen a state procurement that was so tight, first of all, and in which every single deadline was met," Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a statement. "As had been the case in a couple of other notable transactions that Indiana participated in, we were completely unreasonable in our demands and expectations and our partners somehow found a way to meet them."

Indiana announced in mid-November that it had tapped WVB East End Partners, a team lead by Walsh Investors LLC, as its partner on the public-private partnership. Walsh Construction is also the team that will lead Kentucky's side of the project. The two states are pursuing separate financing models to build the bridge. Indiana is using a P3, and Kentucky is using a traditional design-build approach that relies on toll revenue, grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, state funds, and potentially a federal loan. The states will split toll revenue generated by the span.

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