State’s New Comprehensive Transportation Plan Expands Project Scope to 500 or More Bridges
HARRISBURG – PennDOT is putting Pennsylvania’s new, comprehensive transportation plan to work as the department is reaching out to the private sector to submit statements of qualification for the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.
The project is a public-private partnership (P3) that will reconstruct at least 500 structurally deficient bridges of similar design – about 200 to 300 more than originally anticipated as a result of the state’s new comprehensive transportation plan.
“Thanks to Governor Corbett’s hard work and commitment to a stronger Pennsylvania, our landmark transportation plan and P3 law will work in unison to make our economy stronger,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “This project is a prime example of how investment in the public sector empowers stronger partnerships within the private sector, leading to increased safety, good-paying jobs and better services for all Pennsylvanians.”
Recent passage of the commonwealth’s comprehensive transportation funding plan has made it possible to expand the project from 200-300 bridges to at least 500.
The selected team will manage the bridges’ design, construction and maintenance under one contract to streamline design and construction activities. Cost savings are anticipated since the same basic design and construction standards can be used for multiple bridges. The selected team will also maintain the bridges for a yet-to-be-determined number of years.
Interested proposers must submit in hard copy their statements of qualifications to develop, design, build, finance and maintain a portfolio of replacement bridges to the PennDOT Office of Policy & Public Private Partnerships, P.O. Box 3545, Harrisburg, PA 17105, by 1 p.m. Jan.31, 2014. Parties can view submission requirements on the “Updates, Current Advertisements” page at www.P3forPA.pa.gov.
After qualifications are submitted and reviewed, PennDOT plans to invite qualified teams to submit proposals for the project in the spring. The department will make a best-value determination based on cost and technical approach in selecting a proposal, with the goal of beginning construction in 2015.
The project was approved by the state’s P3 Board on Sept. 27 and PennDOT has hosted two industry forums to educate potential, private-sector stakeholders on the scope and requirements.
In September 2012, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law the Public and Private Partnerships for Transportation Act, which authorized P3 projects in Pennsylvania. This law allows PennDOT and other state agencies, transportation authorities and commissions to partner with private companies to participate in delivering, maintaining and financing transportation-related projects.
As part of the P3 law, the seven-member Public Private Transportation Partnership Board was appointed to examine and approve potential public-private transportation projects. If the board determines a state operation or project would be more cost-effectively administered or delivered by a private company, the department or appropriate transportation agency can advertise a competitive RFP and enter into a contract with a company to completely or partially deliver the transportation-related service or project.
To learn more about the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and P3 in Pennsylvania, visit www.P3forPA.pa.gov.