The East End Crossing of The Ohio River Bridges Project, along with two individuals instrumental in creating the project’s public-private partnership (P3) finance and construction model, was honored July 25 during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Annual P3 Conference in Washington, D.C.
P3 refers to a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private sector entity that allows the private sector entity to have greater participation in the delivery of a transportation project. Under a P3, the private partner takes on some or all of the project’s risks and responsibilities.
During a ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History ARTBA named the East End Crossing P3 “Project of the Year.” In addition, Kendra York, Indiana public finance director, and Matt Walsh, CEO and co-chair of Chicago-based Walsh Group, were respectively named public sector and private sector “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
York led IFA’s efficient eight-month P3 procurement process for the East End Crossing, which resulted in the selection of WVB East End Partners — a consortium of regional, national and international firms that will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the crossing.
Walsh led his family-owned business through that procurement process, playing a key role in establishing the selected consortium of Walsh Investors LLC, Vinci Concessions, and Bilfinger Project Investments.
As Project of the Year, the East End Crossing was recognized for exemplifying the value of P3s in the United States. The massive and nationally recognized project was initiated to help improve safety, alleviate traffic congestion, connect highways and create new economic development opportunities. The East End Crossing will connect southern Indiana and Louisville, and will include a 2,510-ft. (765 m) cable-stayed bridge across the Ohio River, a 1,700-ft. (518 m) twin-bore tunnel, 19 additional bridges and other infrastructure improvements. The East End Crossing is “a prime example of P3s in practice,” according to an ARTBA news release.
York, in guiding the East End Crossing procurement efforts, was saluted for her dedication to the P3 model as a way to provide high-quality transportation infrastructure options at a lower investment cost to taxpayers. Under her leadership, the construction cost will be about $763 million — about $224 million or 23 percent less than the project estimate of $978 million.