Georgia appoints new PPP head

Gerald Ross, who has worked with the Georgia Department of Transportation since 1982, has been selected to replace Sandra Burgess as director of the department’s public-private partnerships programme.

Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner Vance Smith has chosen Gerald Ross, the department’s chief engineer and deputy commissioner, to serve as the director of the DOT’s public-private partnerships (PPP) programme.

Ross, who has worked at the DOT since 1982, will replace Sandra Burgess, who is retiring. Burgess served 31 years in the DOT, including a little over a year as the PPP director. Ross will be responsible for overseeing procurement processes for transportation PPPs in Georgia, according to Georgia DOT spokesman David Spear. 

Earlier this year, the Georgia State Transportation Board, which governs the DOT, tapped Brandon Beach to chair its PPP committee. Spear said the State Transportation Board handles policy issues around PPPs, while the DOT PPP director will focus on developing and implementing projects.

Georgia has begun procurement for three major transportation PPPs since its current PPP law was enacted in 2009. In March, the DOT chose a preferred bidder to negotiate a contract to build a rail and bus terminal in downtown Atlanta. The DOT has also begun procurement for a project known as West by Northwest, which includes construction of managed lanes on Interstates 575 and 75.

Spear said the request  for proposals (RFP) for the West by Northwest project, which was reportedly going to be published on August 29, will not be published before September 16, as the RFP will require approvals from different groups that are set to meet in the middle of next month. He estimates the RFP will be published toward the end of September. 

The DOT has also issued a request for qualifications for the maintenance and operation of highway toll areas and welcome centres.