By BRADEN LAMMERS
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
After two years at the helm of a multibillion project and less than six months before it is set to break ground, Steve Schultz has resigned as executive director of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority.
However, Shultz will remain closely involved in the $2.6 billion plan to construct an east-end bridge, downtown bridge and reconstruct Spaghetti Junction. According to a press release, he resigned from the executive director’s role to accept a position as special adviser to Indiana on the Ohio River Bridges Project. In his new role, Schultz will work closely with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of Transportation as the project moves toward the construction phase.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that Steve has agreed to join our team,” said Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York in the release. “His knowledge of the project and his skill sets will be invaluable to our efforts to reach commercial close on the east-end crossing by the end of this year.”
The Bridges Authority was created in February 2010 and saddled with the task of developing a plan to finance and construct the Ohio River Bridges Project. A financing plan that involves splitting the cost at about $1.3 billion between Indiana — for the east-end bridge — and Kentucky — for the downtown bridge and Spaghetti Junction — was approved by the bridges authority in March. Approval of the plan in the form of a record-of-decision from the Federal Highway Administration is expected to be returned before the end of the month.
“Based on where we were two years ago, Steve’s contributions to the Ohio River Bridges Project cannot be overstated,” said Charles Buddeke, chairman of the Bridges Authority in the release. “Besides helping to lead the authority, Steve did so much to bring the project to where it is today. We will miss having him as our executive director, but we’re glad that he will continue to serve and advance the project in his new position.”
Part of the reason Schultz ended his role with the authority is because the authority’s job is complete.
“The bridges authority has basically done its job,” said Mike Bosc, communications and public affairs manager for Indiana on the bridges project.
He said it is not expected that the authority will name a replacement to fill the executive director’s position and the role of the bridges authority is changing. Indiana and Kentucky are in the process of working out a development agreement to help define the bridges authority’s future role, which Bosc said he expects to be in place within the next month.