By Nolan Miles
P3 Kentucky Staff Writer
The link between a successful public-private partnership and an award-winning infrastructure project is a $1.8 billion bridge. Connecting Louisville, Ky., to Utica, Ind., the Lewis and Clark Bridge has been named a winner of the NCPPP’S 2017 National Public-Private Partnership Awards.
The East End Crossing was a partnership between the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), Indiana Department of Transportation and WBV East End Partners, sponsored by Walsh Investors, LLC, VINCI Concessions SAS, and Bilfinger Berger PI International GmbH. The project is expected to support 15,000 jobs and generate over $87 million for the local economy.
Also known as the East End Crossing, the Lewis and Clark Bridge was born through an innovative funding mechanism unlike any other in the U.S., becoming the first public-private partnership not involving a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. The award recognizes organizations that have developed innovative public-private partnerships and have advance the concept of P3s across the country.
The Lewis and Clark Bridge is one of two new bridges, along with a refurbished one, comprising the Ohio River Bridges Project designed to increase cross-river mobility between Louisville and Southern Indiana. Twenty-three percent under engineering estimate costs, and nine months ahead of schedule, the Lewis and Clark Bridge opened in December 2016 with electronic tolling beginning the same month.