Minority businesses will help build the new Ohio River Bridges - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Minority businesses will help build the new Ohio River Bridges

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- The massive Ohio River Bridges Project provides a good opportunity for small minority owned businesses.

Some of them are already on the job as preliminary work is underway.

Hundreds of workers will be needed to build the two new bridges and to re-build Spaghetti Junction.

Most of the workers needed will be in the construction trades.

But other workers and companies will be required as well.

"We are talking about security, flagers will be needed, there are going to be plenty of other jobs needed in addition to the actual construction that is going on," says Tyra Redus of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Metro Fence is a minority owned company.

It recently installed temporary fences in Jeffersonville where drilling for a test shaft is now underway on the Indiana shore.

"If it all works out well, this should be a great opportunity for Metro Fence," says the company's president and owner David Johnson.

The company has been certified by the state as a disadvantaged business enterprise.

That makes it eligible to participate in the building of the bridges.

Soon the company's 22 workers will also be putting up fencing in Waterfront Park before the heavy construction work begins on the Kentucky side of the river.

"Nothing has been given to us, we got our foot in the door because of our certification," says Johnson, "we have had to bid on the project just like everyone else."

The state has set 15 percent as a goal for minorities to work on the project. The goal for women is 10 percent.

Minority owned businesses are supposed to be eligible for 8 percent of the construction cost of the project.

"To date we have about 11 contracts signed," says Marvin Jackson of Walsh Construction, the lead contractor on the project, "we have a long way to for disadvantaged businesses, 30 to 40 more to go."

Johnson hopes his involvement in this huge construction project will help his small business grow.

"An opportunity like this will definitely take us to the next level," he says.

The public will get a chance to learn more details about the bridges project at a public forum Wednesday evening.

An Open House will be held at the Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Avenue from 4-p.m. until 7-p.m.

Those who attend will get a chance to learn the latest on the construction plans for the next year and the impact it will have on traffic in the downtown area. 


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