INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is turning to the private sector for help as the state prepares for a planned Interstate 69 bridge linking Indiana and Kentucky.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is accepting private bids through Sept. 13 for the bridge’s environmental study and early design proposals for the span that will link the Evansville, Indiana, and Henderson, Kentucky, areas.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield tells the Evansville Courier & Press ( ) INDOT regularly uses private companies to conduct studies on “large, complex projects.”

Wingfield says private consultants were involved in the study and design of the Interstate 69 extension that will eventually run between Evansville and Indianapolis.

He says the $14 million pledged by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will go toward paying for the expected 3-year study.