Consortium finalises Ohio River bridge financing
By Chris Sleight02 April 2013
A consortium comprising Vinci Concessions, Walsh Investors and Bilfinger PI International Holdings has secured the US$ 1 billion financing for the East End Crossing project, which is the major component of the Ohio River Bridges Project in the US.
The consortium, which is equally owned by the three partners, has issued bonds worth US$ 677 million to finance the project. These have been given a “BBB” credit rating with a “Stable” outlook by both the Standard & Poor’s and Fitch ratings agencies. Standard and Poor’s added that it was the first time it has issued a rating for a public-private partnership of this type in the US.
The scheme comprises a 2,500 ft (762 m) cable-stayed bridge over the Ohio River, linking Louisville in Kentucky to the southern part of Indiana. The Kentucky approach will feature a 1,680 ft (512 m) long twin-bore tunnel and the scheme will include 19 smaller bridges and other roadway improvements.
Construction will be carried out on a design & build basis by a joint venture between Walsh Construction (60%) and Vinci Construction Grands Projets (40%). Ground is due to be broken in May, with completion expected after a 3.5 year timeline, in autumn 2016.
Vinci said that as part of the wider River Bridges Project near Louisville, the scheme is one of the largest transport improvement projects in the US.