BRADENTON, Fla. — Kentucky and Indiana agencies Tuesday are poised to approve the long-awaited master agreement for the financing and construction of the massive $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.
In separate meetings, the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority and the Indiana Finance Authority will be asked to approve development and interlocal agreements for what is formally called the Louisville Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.
Earlier meetings to consider voting on the pacts reportedly were postponed until the states were able to reach an agreement.
“Negotiation of the master agreement took longer than had been hoped, but there were many details to be addressed, and in fact the two states reached resolution late Friday,” said Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The IFA will consider the bridges agreement Tuesday at its early afternoon meeting. The authority will consider the item as one of many on a crowded agenda.
The KPTIA meeting will be almost entirely devoted to the Bridges Project, and will include updates on the initial financial plan, project management, design-build procurement status, and the state’s $1.3 billion application for a low-interest loan under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
After the state agencies approve the master development agreement it will be considered in a meeting to be scheduled by the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, the bi-state agency organized by the states to study financing options for the project.
The two states are splitting the cost of building new bridges across the Ohio River, and rebuilding the downtown Louisville interchange known as Spaghetti Junction where Interstates 64, 65 and 71 converge.
Indiana broke ground on a road project related to the eastern bridge Aug. 30, and is building that project with a public-private partnership.
Kentucky is using a traditional design-build approach to build its project, and plans to pay for the estimated $1.3 billion cost with toll revenue and grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, state funds and potentially the TIFIA loan.
In related news, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels last week announced that he had appointed a former co-chair of the Bridges Authority to the IFA board.
Kerry Stemler, a southern Indiana businessman, served as co-chair of the bi-state Bridges Authority from 2009 to last month, according to local reports.
Daniels actually made the appointment last month but only announced it publicly last week.