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“I’m very, very hopeful that you all will be able come up with not only continuous improvement ideas but some breakthrough ideas on this project,” Fischer said.

Daniels said the project must be built using some form of “public-private partnership” — an approach that could involve, for example, private companies assuming the financing, design and operations of a road in exchange for collecting toll revenue or other payments.

Last year the Indiana legislature authorized the use of such a partnership for the bridges project. On Monday, Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville and Rep. Sannie Overly, a Paris Democrat and chair of the House budget subcommittee on transportation, filed a bill allowing the partnerships for the bridges and other transportation projects between Kentucky and Indiana.

“Most of the world is building its infrastructure now and has been for some time in some sort of cooperation model like we want to work out with somebody in this room,” Daniels said at the forum.

Among those attending the conference were representatives from companies specializing in such deals.

Samara Barend, an AECOM vice president who works on public-private partnerships, said she expects the bridges project to include a mix of agreements between government entities and private vendors depending on which roadways are tolled.

Current plans are pursuing tolls only on the eastern bridge and the downtown I-65 corridor, which includes a new bridge adjacent to the Kennedy Bridge.

Barend, whose company previously conducted a toll report for The Bridges Coalition advocacy group, said roads that aren’t tolled will likely include a deal in which the government pays a private company a fixed amount for that company to handle construction, operations and maintenance and guaranteeing a fixed budget and completion date.Article source: http://feeds.stateline.org/~r/StatelineorgRss-Transportation/~3/Z9uIW9Y4RvY/Industry-forum-Ohio-River-Bridges-Project-gets-under-way