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Kentucky, Indiana Create Joint Board to Oversee Bridges Project

Indiana and Kentucky are overhauling the body governing for the Ohio River Bridges Project and expect to approve new agreements Tuesday afternoon that will transfer power from the bi-state Bridges Authority in charge of overseeing the project, to a four-member Joint Board.The bi-state authority was put in charge of creating a financial plan for the now $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, which includes a tolling agreement that has yet to be worked out.Indiana is responsible for building a new East End Bridge, while Kentucky will build a new northbound I-65 bridge and rework Spaghetti Junction.The agreements expected to be approved by the Indiana Finance Authority and Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority now transfer management of the project from the 14-member bi-state authority to a four-member joint board.“These are the people directly hands on in charge of bringing the project to completion," said Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the Kentucky Transportation Department.The four members that make up the board cover all the government agencies that will be responsible for building the bridges and overseeing maintenance once the projects are complete, said Wolfe.They include the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary, Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner, the chair of the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority and the public finance director of the Indiana Finance Authority.Also spelled out in the agreements are the responsibilities and duties for each of the two states for completing and maintaining their portion of the project. This includes budget and financing, environmental and workforce commitments, operations and maintenance, and tolling collection and enforcement.The bi-state authority will meet in a couple weeks to take action on this transfer of power.