The Kentucky-Indiana joint board for the US’s Ohio River Bridges Project has approved the hiring of two contractors to assist in implementing a new toll system.

In addition, the board has also authorised the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to procure a business income insurance broker.

Kentucky transportation secretary and co-chair of the joint board Mike Hancock said: "Our two states are taking necessary steps toward a common goal, a well-designed, well-managed and smooth-running system that will dramatically improve mobility across the Ohio River in this region."

"Our two states are taking necessary steps toward a common goal."

The bridges project is being built by the two states jointly in a bid to improve cross-river mobility between Louisville and Southern Indiana.

As part of the project, two bridges will be built, one will link downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana and run beside the Interstate-65 Kennedy Memorial Bridge, while the other one that is eight miles upriver, connects Prospect, Kentucky, and Utica, Indiana.

Upon completion of the project, the bridges and a renovated Kennedy Memorial Bridge will feature an all-electronic toll collection system, which leads to improvement in traffic.

eTrans KY of Louisville has been appointed to oversee the work of the toll system provider, as well as oversee all design and testing of the system, under a contract which is said to have a limit of $3.45m.

KPMG was also selected as part of a contract with a limit of $2.1m to work with the toll system provider to design financial procedures for the toll system.

By performing daily reconciliation of toll receipts, the company will ensure that correct amounts are transferred to the states once the system is operational.

Expected to run through 30 June 2016, the contracts can be renewed for up to two additional two-year periods.

The business income insurance broker will help the states find coverage to protect themselves against a accident or any other event.