Frontrunner for Georgia Corridor P3

The $840m P3 is a first for the ‘Peach State’.

A managed lanes project involving Interstate 75 (I-75) in Atlanta “took a huge leap forward” with the selection of an apparent best value proposer, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) announced.

The Department named consortium ‘Northwest Express Roadbuilders’ (NWER) “potential […] partner” for the $840 million ‘Northwest Corridor,’ a 30-mile “design, build and partially finance” public-private partnership (PPP; P3).

The P3 is expected to be “finalised” in 2013, “with construction beginning next year”. The Corridor is scheduled to open to traffic in 2018, GDOT said.

The NWER offer to design and build the Corridor for $600 million is the “largest element” in the current $840 million cost estimate for the project, which is “significantly less” than the previous $951 million estimate, GDOT said.

The Department, meanwhile, is expected to come up with the remaining $240 million for the P3.

Archer Western Contractors in Atlanta, Hubbard Construction Company from Winter Park, Florida and engineering firm Parsons Transportation Group comprise Northwest Express Roadbuilders.

C.W. Matthews Contracting and the Michael Baker Corporation, as well as ‘Georgia Transportation Partners,’ a consortium teaming Bechetel Infrastructure Corporation, Kiweit Infrastructure South, Dewberry and Davis and STV, were also shortlisted.

The project will entail adding two managed lanes on I-75 to relieve traffic congestion in Atlanta.

The Northwest Corridor is a redraft of ‘West by Northwest’ (WxNW), a $2.3 billion design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) encompassing I-75 and Interstate 575 (I-575) cancelled in 2011 when Nathan Deal became governor of Georgia.

Deal lambasted WxNW, the brainchild of former GDOT Commissioner Vance Smith, for its risk to state “sovereignty”. Like the would-be WxNW, the Northeast Corridor is the first P3 for Georgia.