Indiana last week released its final request for proposals for the East End Crossing of the massive $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

The four teams who make up the short list of finalists must now propose plans and bids for the design, construction and financing of the crossing.

Responses are due in late October, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. A finalist and “commercial close” is set for the end of 2012.

“We are very pleased that we remain on schedule with our procurement timetable,” public finance director Kendra York said in a statement. “All of our proposer teams have been very engaged during the industry review phase, and we look forward to seeing the results of what proves to be a very competitive process.”

The Ohio River Bridges project is a joint effort between Kentucky and Indiana. It’s one of the largest public works projects in the country.

The states are pursuing separate financing and construction plans for the two new bridges across the Ohio River. Kentucky is using a traditional financing plan, which will include toll-revenue bonds, while Indiana is crafting a public-private partnership based on an appropriation-payment model.

The states have set a formal groundbreaking for late August.

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