Office of the Indiana Ombudsman
Carl Pearcy - Indiana Ombudsman
Office Telephone: (812) 288-2012
Fax: (812) 288-2023
Ohio River Bridges Project
Office of the Indiana Ombudsman
129 Quartermaster Court
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Purpose of the Ombudsman
The Ombudsmen for the Ohio River Bridges Project are officials designated to serve as a contact point and input mechanism for the property owners, neighborhood associations and the public in general. The Office of the Ombudsman is intended to be an independent and impartial resource regarding the project.
Specific language in the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project Federal Highway Administration Record of Decision (ROD) “Monitoring or Enforcement Program” and additional language in the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) provides for the inclusion of Ombudsmen in the Project and stipulates implementation of the Ombudsmen component of the Project. The Ombudsmen will address Project-wide issues that include, but are not limited to, the ROD and MOA.
The ROD provides that in addition to bi-state management of the LSIORB Project, which includes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the General Engineering Contractor (GEC), Ombudsmen for both the Indiana and Kentucky portion of the Project will provide property owners, neighborhood associations, and other groups and individuals with a mechanism for addressing concerns or issues raised during the Project.
The Section 106 MOA stipulates that the Ombudsmen will be responsible for communicating with the public and investigating reported problems on all aspects of the Project, including the implementation measures set forth in the Section 106 MOA. They shall report recommendations, complaints and their findings to the Bi-State Management Team for resolution. The Ombudsmen will report findings, decisions, and resolutions as appropriate.
The Ombudsman does not speak on behalf of the Project, the Bi-State Management Team, the Federal Highway Administration, the Indiana Department of Transportation or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The Office of the Ombudsman does not provide legal counsel and information provided by the Office is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.
Roles of the Ombudsman
- The Ombudsman will serve as an independent advocate and impartial source of information regarding the Project. The Ombudsman assists citizens who have questions and concerns associated with the Project and who have been unable to obtain answers and remedies by way of normal processes.
- The Ombudsman will help citizens understand the Project, how the Project is being implemented, how questions and information requests can best be answered, and how concerns and complaints can be addressed and brought to resolution.
- The Ombudsman will review comments and complaints and advise as to the most appropriate resolution.
- The Ombudsman will respond to information requests, comments and complaints regarding the Project by appropriate means and within appropriate timeframes. The Ombudsman will communicate issues, comments, complaints, findings and recommendations to the Bi-State Management Team for consideration and resolution.
- The Ombudsman will provide citizens with a neutral process of conflict resolution and a means by which constructive recommendations may be made. The Office of the Ombudsman, by providing a direct and informal avenue for mediation is intended to enhance the relationship between citizens and Project implementers, and ultimately improve the administration of the Project itself.
- The Ombudsman will demonstrate the highest level of professional ethics and integrity. When making recommendations, the Ombudsman will suggest actions or policies that will be equitable to all parties. The Ombudsman will have autonomy from the Project in order to be effective and maintain trust and credibility.