Georgia readies third PPP

The state will issue an request for qualifications on 30 August to find a private partner to manage 17 rest areas and 9 welcome centres along its highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will seek a private partner to “develop a comprehensive programme” for managing 17 rest areas and nine welcome centres along its highways, the agency said in a statement.

“Our goal is to mitigate the cost of janitorial, landscaping and maintenance services through advertising and sponsorship,” Vance Smith, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said in the statement.

Georgia: welcoming
private capital for

The rest centres are the third public-private partnership opportunity to come to market in the southeast state so far this year. In March, Georgia began procurement on a $2.3 billion highway improvement project in Atlanta known as the West by Northwest, and last week it disclosed its intent to build a new train and bus terminal in downtown Atlanta with the help of the private sector.

A request for qualifications for the management and maintenance of the rest areas and welcome centres will be issued 30 August. A shortlist of qualified bidders will be determined by the end of December, Georgia said.

Interest in the project could be strong. The state previously issued a request for information on the project, a common way for project sponsors to take the temperature of the market before seeking bidders, and received seven responses.

Georgia isn’t the only state to consider privatising a portion of its highway rest stop maintenance. California has previously considered a similar idea. And in December 2009, Connecticut signed a contract with Project Service, a Carlyle Infrastructure Partners-backed company, to upgrade and maintain 23 of its highway rest stops for 35 years.