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Louisville, Indiana Hire Firm to Prepare Drivers for New Tolls

The Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board on Wednesday approved the hiring of a Louisville company to provide marketing, branding, and communications services related to an all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

The agency, New West, will head a full-service team tasked with educating and acclimating motorists to a tolling system in which traffic always flows at expressway speeds, and the lowest toll rates are reserved for drivers who use transponders for automatic payments.

“All-electronic tolling in transportation is the state of the art elsewhere around the nation but will be a new experience in Louisville and Southern Indiana,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, who presided at the Joint Board meeting. “In the months ahead, we will be counting on the New West team, through this contract, to help travelers learn about the advantages of a system in which there is no slowing, stopping or waiting in line at a toll booth.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet procured New West on behalf of the Joint Board. Indiana is procuring the toll system provider.

New West, whose specialties include brand development and graphic design and which created the “Unbridled Spirit” official logo of the Commonwealth, won a competitive contract on a price bid of $1,674,000. New West’s team includes Frank Wilson & Associates, a California-based marketing communications company with long experience in transportation projects, and a second Kentucky company, EHI Consultants, of Lexington, whose specialties include market research.

The Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board comprises two transportation and finance officials from each state –Secretary Hancock; Jim Stark, Deputy Commissioner of Innovative Project Delivery for the Indiana Department of Transportation; Indiana Finance Authority Director Kendra York, and Kentucky Finance Secretary Lori Flanery.

About the Bridges Project

The Ohio River Bridges project involves construction of two new bridges and their approaches, rehabilitation of the Interstate 65 John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge and reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange, where I-65, I-64 and I-71 come together in downtown Louisville.

The project has two parts:

·         Downtown Crossing – A new bridge to carry northbound I-65 traffic between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Renovation of the Kennedy Memorial Bridge to carry southbound I-65 traffic. Reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange.

·         East End Crossing – A new bridge, upriver from Louisville, to connect the Gene Snyder Freeway in Kentucky with the Lee Hamilton Highway in Southern Indiana. It will complete a loop around the greater Louisville area.

Kentucky is in charge of building and financing the Downtown Crossing, using a combination of federal highway funds and bond sales, including toll revenue bonds issued by KPTIA. Walsh Construction Co. leads the design-build team.

Indiana is overseeing a public-private partnership with WVB East End Partners, which is responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the East End Crossing.

From the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Photo: Ohio River Bridges Project
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