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Financial close for Pennsylvania's $899m bridge project

The closure marks the conclusion of the first major infrastructure procurement under the P3 program established by Act 88.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and a Plenary Walsh-led team have reached financial close on the Rapid Bridge Replacement public-private partnership (PPP; P3).

The closure marks the conclusion of the first major infrastructure procurement under the P3 program established by Act 88, according to P3 office director Bryan A. Kendro. The enabling legislation was enacted in 1992.

“This is a significant and important day for both the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and the PennDOT P3 Program,” Kendro said in a statement. “The success of this project however will be defined not just by the procurement process but also by PennDOT's ability to partner and coordinate with the Plenary-Walsh team on the replacement of 558 bridges in the next three years, a challenge I know we are up to.”

PennDOT selected Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, a consortium of 11 Pennsylvania-based subcontractors including Granite Construction and HDR Engineering, in October 2014. Commercial close was reached in January.

While the original scope of the project called for the replacement of 200 to 300 bridges, additional state funding of $2.3 to $2.4 million secured by Governor Thomas Corbett in 2013 allowed PennDOT to expand the project to include repair of 558 bridges.

Construction, set to begin this summer, must be completed within 36 months under the design-build-finance-maintain contract. Total cost of the project is estimated at $899 million.

According to PennDOT secretary Barry Schosch, the project will save an average of $400,000 for the design, construction and maintenance of each bridge compared to the costs associated with the department's traditional procurement method, with each bridge costing roughly $1.6 million to repair.