2nd Ohio P3 a ‘greenfield’ deal

The ‘Portsmouth Bypass’ project is the latest ‘Buckeye State’ P3.

Ohio is initiating a public-private partnership (PPP or P3) to undertake a ‘greenfield’ transportation infrastructure project involving the creation of a new four-lane, 16-mile road that could cost up to $500 million.

The ‘Portsmouth Bypass’ marked the second P3 for the US Midwest state: Ohio in February initiated the selection of a preferred bidder for the $330 million ‘Innerbelt Bridge’ project – its first-ever P3.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has published a request for qualifications (RFQ) due next month for the Bypass. The Department will announce a bidder shortlist in August.

ODOT in the RFQ described the P3 as a design, build, finance, operate, and maintain (DBFOM) project using an availability payment structure.

The length of the concession for the P3 will be determined “at the RFP [request for proposal] stage” with a final RFP set to come out in November, though ODOT estimated the P3 could have a 40-year term.

The Department went on to note the RFP will be tallied in the first quarter of 2014, with commercial and financial close expected in the third quarter.

The Bypass would entail a divided, limited access highway around Portsmouth, a city of 20,226 people in south central Ohio, that would connect to US Route 52 (US 52), US Route 23 (US 23), and State Route 140 (SR 140).

A new route would offer a combined 26-mile alternative to US 52 and US 23,”reducing traffic” and improving “quality of life,” according to ODOT.

ODOT established a ‘division of innovative delivery,’ headed by Jim Riley, to explore non-traditional procurement and project delivery for surface transportation infrastructure.

In addition to the Portsmouth Bypass P3 and the Innerbelt Bridge design, build, finance (DBF) project, Ohio is planning a DBFOM project for the Brent Spence Bridge.