Spans planned for downtown Louisville, Ky., and suburbs could use a mix of public and private funding approaches.


Indiana and Kentucky could award $2.6 billion worth of design-build contracts by December for two cable-stay bridges across the Ohio River in downtown Louisville and in bistate suburbs.

The joint effort, called the Ohio River Bridges Project, has attracted a who's who of competing teams and could include innovative public-private financing. Kentucky will manage the Downtown Crossing in Louisville, while Indiana will oversee the East End bridge, about eight miles upriver.

Each span, about 2,500 ft long, not including approaches, will cost about $1.3 billion. Work could create about 4,000 jobs, the states say.

Three design-build teams are set to submit proposals to Kentucky: Ohio River Transportation Constructors, led by Kiewit Infrastructure Co.; Skanska Flatiron Dragados, led by Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc.; and one led by Walsh Construction Co.

The Louisville bridge, with a Michael Baker Inc. conceptual design, will provide a new northbound route for I-65 when done in 2018.

Indiana is working with four teams and is believed to be considering a concession payment approach in East End bridge financing.

Competitors are: East End Mobility Partners , which includes Tutor Perini Corp. and SNC-Lavalin Capital; Ohio River Mobility Group, including Dragados USA and related finance units; Ohio River Transportation Partners, including Traylor Bros. Inc. and finance units of Balfour Beatty and Kiewit; and WVB East End Partners, which includes units of Walsh, VINCI and Bilfinger Berger.

The span, designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, is set to be completed in 2017. It will carry I-265 between Prospect, Ky. and Utica, Ind.