Transport Topic News — Kentucky and Ohio issued a call for construction and design proposals to fast-track the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project.

“This is a huge step that gets us one step closer to fulfilling the dreams of thousands of travelers by providing traffic relief, increased safety and a boost to our nation’s commerce,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.

The project will separate Interstate 75 traffic from local traffic and improve freight movements through the critical Kentucky-Ohio transportation corridor.

Announcing the milestone Feb. 21, Beshear added, “Just a month ago, we celebrated a historic $1.635 billion in federal grant funding to build the new bridge crossing over the Ohio River and improve the entire Brent Spence Bridge Corridor with no tolls.”

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) have issued a request for proposals to provide construction and design services on the project. The contact focuses on 6 of the 8 miles of the total corridor; 5 miles of the Interstate Highway 71/75 corridor in Kentucky and 1 mile of I-75 in Ohio.

Also included are improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge and building a companion bridge to its west. Work on the two northernmost sections of the corridor in Ohio will be done under separate contracts.

“When I’ve asked people in southwest Ohio what issues need to be addressed, for many, many years the Brent Spence Bridge has consistently been at the top of the list,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, adding “we’re closer than ever to beginning work on this transformational project.”

Responses to the RFP are due March 31. The schedule calls for the design-build team to be selected in May, allowing for planning to take place immediately and initial construction work to begin before the year’s end.

This project calls for a “progressive design-build” contract to be awarded based on qualifications, the best overall approach and value. The winning firm will collaborate with the project team and local stakeholders to lower and mitigate project risks as well as avoid excessive cost overruns.

“The progressive design-build process is the right delivery approach based on the complexity of this project,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Working in collaboration with the contractor during the design process will bring more innovative design ideas to the table and improve the project overall.”

ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said, “This project connects neighborhoods, states and the nation. We can’t wait to get started.”

The states earned two federal grants, including a recent $250 million U.S. Department of Transportation award from the new National Infrastructure Project Assistance discretionary grant program to go with the $1.38 billion from the Bridge Investment Program.

Making the DOT funding award announcement, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Safe, modern bridges ensure that first responders can get to calls more quickly, shipments reach businesses on time and drivers can get to where they need to go.”

In January, the Federal Highway Administration awarded the project the Bridge Investment Program grant to help address the corridor that carries more than $400 billion in freight annually over the Ohio River.

Kentucky and Ohio also signed an Interstate Cooperative Agreement that allows both states to begin preparing for construction. It also defines the roles and responsibilities for procurement, funding, construction and maintenance of the project.

Groundbreaking is slated for later this year, with construction scheduled during 2024 and a substantial completion by 2029.

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