Spurred by President Obama’s visit to the I-71/75 Brent Spence Bridge last week, bridge construction projects continue to be in the news across the country.  The Louisville Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which is one of the largest transportation projects in the United States, continues to move forward.  One of the issues that must be decided is what project delivery method will be used for the project.  On September 13 the Bridges Authority issued a Request for Information to aid in its selection of a delivery model and financial plan for the project. http://www.bridgesauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RFI-final-9-13-11.pdf The RFI seeks input on the following questions:

   Spurred by President Obama’s visit to the I-71/75 Brent Spence Bridge last week, bridge construction projects continue to be in the news across the country.  The Louisville Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which is one of the largest transportation projects in the United States, continues to move forward.  One of the issues that must be decided is what project delivery method will be used for the project.  On September 13 the Bridges Authority issued a Request for Information to aid in its selection of a delivery model and financial plan for the project. http://www.bridgesauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RFI-final-9-13-11.pdf The RFI seeks input on the following questions:

  •  What schedule savings might be achieved if the project were procured under a single design/build contract rather than a traditional design-bid-build delivery approach?
  • If the project is procured on a design/build and/or concession approach, what is the appropriate number of qualified bid teams that the Authority should accept on the “short list” in order to maintain competitive interest in the project?
  • What specific provisions should be included to enable the Authority to procure early works packages for certain critical path elements through a traditional design-bid-build contract with an option to assign that contract to the successful bidder on the design-build or concession contract that would be procured later?
  • Under a design-build-finance delivery approach, what would constitute appropriate milestones for partial payments during construction, and how should the final completion trigger for payment be defined? If the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement process is not completed by the time a Request for Proposals is submitted, what impact would the ongoing SEIS process have on the bidders’ competitive interest in the project?
  • If the Project is procured on a long-term concession, should the Authority consider allocating all responsibility for life cycle costs to the concessionaire?
  • What types of guarantees and assurances will lenders expect from developers/concessionaires?
  • How important are payment and performance bonds versus other forms of completion assurances in order to secure attractive lender commitments?  

The RFI also seeks suggestions for operations and maintenance alternatives.  Responses to the RFI are due September 30.