Bridge Tolling Efforts Move Ahead

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The Ohio River Bridges Project has taken another step forward. Indiana and Kentucky officials overseeing the efforts have narrowed the list of potential toll operators to six and selected a Virginia-based company to provide electronic tolling components. January 27, 2014

News Release

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. - The Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board for the Ohio River Bridges Project took two major steps today toward implementing a tolling system for the new bridges.

At its meeting in Jeffersonville, the board selected a company to provide transponders and other electronic tolling components. The board also received submittals from seven companies seeking the contract to operate the tolling system. Six of the submittals were deemed qualified. The board expects to name a tolling operator later this year.

The board also authorized the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to seek marketing and communication proposals to educate the traveling public about the new tolling system.

Once the project is completed in 2016, tolls will be charged for use of the two new bridges and the renovated Kennedy Memorial Bridge. An all-electronic toll system will be used, meaning no toll plazas, no slowing of traffic and no waiting in line.

The Joint Board, which was created to facilitate the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the bridges project, selected Kapsch TrafficCom USA, based in McLean, Va., to provide two types of transponders plus the equipment to read the transponders. Kapsch will provide:

Local transponders, which are small stickers about the size of a business card that attach to the windshield. These are less expensive, but not transferable to other vehicles and can be used only on the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River bridges.

E-ZPass transponders, which are about the size of a garage-door opener. These can be transferred to other vehicles and can be used on any of the 25 toll facilities in 15 states that operate on the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system.

Multi-protocol readers, which can recognize both types of transponders and properly bill motorists when they cross the bridges.

While Kapsch will provide the equipment for reading transponders, the tolling operator will be responsible for supplying camera equipment to read license plates for collecting tolls from vehicles without transponders.

Kentucky and Indiana jointly are building the bridges project to improve cross-river mobility between Louisville and Southern Indiana. The project calls for building two bridges - one connecting downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind., running parallel to the existing Kennedy Bridge, and another eight miles upstream, connecting Prospect, Ky. and Utica, Ind.

The Joint Board consists of transportation and finance officials from both states - Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, Indiana Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Jim Stark, Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York and Kentucky Finance Secretary Lori Flanery. Secretaries Hancock and Flanery also serve as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority.

Those four members, plus one additional representative from IFA and one additional member of KPTIA, also constitute the Tolling Body, which is responsible for developing tolling policies that will be the basis for determining toll rates. Initial base toll rates were adopted Sept. 11.

Source: The Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board for the Ohio River Bridges Project