Another milestone for Virginia’s I-66 project

Aimed at improving 25 miles of the state’s I-66 corridor, the $2.1bn scheme is one step closer to procurement with the release of an RFQ.

Interstate-66 (I-66), a project that has been on Virginia’s list of candidate projects since at least July 2013, is moving ahead following a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) recently released by VDOT, the state’s department of transportation.

While the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has decided that the project should be procured under the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), the specific delivery option is yet to be determined.

The RFQ consists of two parts. The first invites private sector partners to submit Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) for three delivery methods: design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM); design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM); and design, build, incorporating Alternative Technical Concepts (DB-ATC).

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an ATC is a flexible highway contracting process whereby contractors can submit innovative, cost-effective solutions that are equal to or better than the procuring agency’s design and/or construction criteria. “This process allows contractors to submit innovative concepts and solutions in a confidential manner,” FHWA explains on its website.

The deadline for responding to the first part of the RFQ is October 1 and proposers can submit SOQs for more than one delivery method. Those shortlisted – VDOT will notify teams by October 15 – will then be invited to submit financial proposals for each delivery method for which they would like to be considered. Those responses are due by November 30, at which point VDOT will choose a preferred delivery option.

The Transform 66 – Outside the Beltway project entails improving 25 miles of the interstate corridor by adding two express lanes along three regular lanes in each direction, with space made available for transit options to be added in the future; park and ride facilities; and corridor-wide bike, trail and pedestrian improvements. Its total cost is estimated at $2.1 billion.

At the end of 2013, 19 companies had responded to VDOT’s Request for Information (RFI) regarding I-66 improvements.

According to Virginia’s P3 office, which along with VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is procuring the project, five teams of the original RFI respondents continue to express interest in competing during the procurement phase having met with local officials as recently as July. They are: Transurban (with Societe Generale; Skanska ID; Skanska; Archer Western); ACS (with Shikun & Binui; HOCHTIEF; Flatiron; Dragados), InfraRed (with Isolux; Fluor; Lane; Granite); OHL (with Tutor Perini; Cherry Hill); and Meridiam (with Cintra; Ferrovial).

Construction is slated to begin in 2017 and improvements expected to be completed by 2021.