LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There are three companies vying for the bid to build the downtown crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Late Thursday afternoon, the state determined an apparent winner.
Chicago based Walsh Construction had what the state calls the apparent winning bid at around $860 million.
Ohio River Transportation Constructors out of Omaha, Skanska Flatiron Dragados out of New York and Walsh Construction out of Chicago were the three who wanted to build the bridge.
Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said Thursday he was feeling exhilarated before announcing the company who gave the best value in their bid.
The state bases their decision on the cost of construction, the time it takes and the $1 million to repair the Kennedy Bridge.
A review committee will go over the bids starting the Monday after Thanksgiving. They have 90 days to pick an official winner and want to start construction by March 2013. They set June 2018 as a completion date for the bridge, but Walsh said they could complete the bridge by December 2016.
As happy a day this is for Hancock, there are still people in Louisville who say the downtown bridge is not good for the city. "It concerns me that they're putting the cart before the horse because we still haven't seen the public release of the tolling grade study on traffic to indicate the impact on the community of tolls and the building of this project," said 8664.org Co-Founder Tyler Allen.
Allen said the city and the state need the east end bridge, but building a downtown bridge will bury the city in concrete. Hancock said it's critical to modernize Louisville's infrastructure. It's what will keep the city attractive for jobs.
The state set an end date of June 2018 for the downtown crossing. Walsh said they can finish it by December 2016.
Indiana is in charge of the East End portion of the Ohio River Bridge Project. They are expected to pick a winning bidder Friday.
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