By Matt Koesters, News and Tribune
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (News and Tribune) - The Joint Board for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project gave the nod to Kapsch TrafficCom IVHS Inc. to provide, operate and maintain the system that will collect tolls on the Kennedy Bridge and two new area bridges.
The contract, which is worth $39.86 million, will not be executed until the Indiana Finance Authority holds a public hearing Sept. 29 and gives its final approval Oct. 16. The joint board's action Monday at the Sheraton Louisville Riverside in Jeffersonville sets the process to hire a tolling operator in motion, said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock.
“Tolling is something, frankly, we'd prefer not to do, but with a project of this size and this cost, unfortunately the traditional funding available simply isn't enough to pay those costs,” Hancock said. “Tolling is a necessary component of what we have to do to see this project move forward in this area.”
Once ratified, the contract with Kapsch will be for a period of seven years, and the amount being paid is not dependent upon the amount of toll revenue collected, said Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York, with the IFA. York called the process by which the tolling provider was selected “a bistate, very collaborative process.”