Complex legal efforts part of groundwork for 2 new bridges across Ohio River
The Ice Miller team’s work was featured in the Indiana Lawyer’s article, “Complex legal efforts part of groundwork for 2 new bridges across Ohio River.” Read the full article here.
“Each had to commit to the other to get their job done because the project doesn’t work without both projects being done and collecting tolls,” said Gary Dankert, partner at Ice Miller.
Old tools, new uses
The team at Ice Miller, which drew attorneys from construction, real estate, and public finance practice areas, had to craft the bi-state and inter-local agreements along with the public-private partnership contract by the end of 2012.
The agreements were key in laying out the road map and mechanisms for how Indiana and Kentucky would cooperate during construction and after completion with the collection of tolls.
Hoosier attorneys and their Kentucky colleagues had to find ways to write these agreements to bring four state highway and financing agencies together to cooperate across state lines in a manner that complied with their own statutes.
The work was difficult, time-consuming and occasionally arduous. Brenda Horn, partner at Ice Miller, was on a trip to Rhode Island when she dialed into a conference call for the bridges project. She sat on the porch of the bed and breakfast, anticipating a two-hour discussion. The call bled into six hours.
Looking back, Horn said the bridges project provided an challenge for using existing statutes and regulations. The work so interested her that she believes without it, she would have retired.
“It’s sort of like you have all these tools and all of the sudden you’re going to twist them and see if we can make it work,” Horn said. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work on something like this that is new and different and challenging.”