The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the City of Jeffersonville are reopening bidding for the Big Four Bridge and its approach in the next couple months.
INDOT first took bids for the pedestrian bridge late last year but none of the bidders met with state approval, said spokesman Will Wingfield. The state purposefully withholds details on its fair price from contractors to spur competition, he said.
“That estimate is not given to the contractors in advance. They have to determine what their quote is and that’s part of the way that we protect taxpayer interest,” Wingfield said.
INDOT has now re-scoped the project, eliminating construction of a tunnel beneath the floodwall. The change could cut around $4 million from the project and the new cost will now be around $8 million to $9 million, said Wingfield.
The Big Four is an unused railroad bridge that’s currently being renovated to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross between Jeffersonville and Louisville. INDOT hopes the pathway and the Jeffersonville approach will be complete at the same time, he said.
Wingfield couldn’t say what the state thinks a fair price for the contract is and said that’s part of creating competition among contractors.
INDOT expects to release details of the new contract sometime in the next two months. Wingfield said he’s uncertain when the Big Four project might be complete, but some say early 2013 is good estimate.