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Ohio River Bridges Project Toll Operator Selection Delayed

The process of selecting a company to install and operate the tolls on the Ohio River Bridges Project has hit a snag.The Indiana Finance Authority was set to vote Thursday to finalize the selection of Virginia-based Kapsch TrafficCom IVHS Inc. for the toll installation and operation.  But Kendra York, the director of the Indiana Finance Authority, said that would not be happening.At least, not this week.A finalist for the toll contract has issued protested the selection process, arguing that Kapsch had conflicts of interest and its proposal was deficient. “We anticipate a decision on the matter before the end of October,” York said in a statement sent to WFPL. Related: Tolls Approved For Ohio River Bridges ProjectTracy Marks, the president of TransCore LP, a Nasvhille-based company that specializes in traffic management, said in a letter to the Indiana Finance Authority that Kapsch TrafficCom failed to divulge conflicts of interest with the project.A specific conflict stems from allegations that a former Kapsch employee, Richard Ace, now serves as the chief financial officer for the consultant involved in the IFA selection process, which gave him some oversight of the potential contract, according to the letter.“Kapsch’s failure to disclose this conflict of interest should disqualify their proposal,” Marks said in the letter.Marks also outlined “clear deficiencies in the proposal submitted by the Kapsch team.”In the letter, Marks said Kapsh proposed using a system in the toll collection process that has never been used to establish or manage transponders, among other issues.Marks said these alleged deficiencies “should have resulted in the rejection of the Kapsch proposal.”York, of the IFA, responded: “We take the claims made in the protest of the selection process very seriously and feel they warrant diligent and in-depth inquiry."Kapsch TrafficCom staff could not be reached for comment.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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