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The Ohio River Bridges Project Will Start Looking For a Toll Operator, Again

The bi-state board overseeing the Ohio River Bridges Project will restart the process for finding a toll services operator because of conflict of interest concerns.

The decision, made in a vote Friday, shouldn't affect the planned start date for tolling, according to a news release from the project. That's expected when the new bridges open to traffic in 2016, said a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

In September, theboard chose Virginia-based Kapsch TrafficCom IVHS as the preferred bidder to install and operate tolls on the new bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana. The board was supposed to finalize the agreement earlier this month, but another bidder for the job, TransCore LP,filed a protest and alleged conflicts of interest.

The Indiana Finance Authority reviewed the allegation and deemed it "unsubstantiated."

But it did find a potential "personal and organizational" conflict.

The concern stems from a "financial arrangement between a subcontractor of the preferred proposer and a subcontractor of the Joint Board's toll advisor," the news release said.

The news release said:
The potential conflict of interest existed between ClearStrategy Consulting LLC., subcontractor to Computer Aid Inc. (CAI), the tolling advisor hired by the Joint Board, and Gude Management Group, LLC., a subcontractor on the Kapsch TrafficCom proposal.
"The best ethical and objective path forward is to cancel the existing procurement and reset the process," IFA Director Kendra York said in a news release.

The board removed the toll advisor involved, Computer Aid Inc., and chose to replaced it with Parsons Transportation Group on an interim basis.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

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