Georgia weighing Northwest Corridor feedback

The Georgia Department of Transportation has received responses from consortia responding to its Northwest Corridor managed lane project. Kiewit and Ferrovial are among interested parties.

The Northwest Corridor (NWC) project, an heir apparent public-private partnership (PPP) to the ill-fated “West by Northwest” (WxNW) highway project in Georgia, has garnered private sector responses, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) said.

The department noted that NWC, slated to improve the Interstate Highway 75 and route 575 near Georgia, generated interest from five consortia, including:

• Georgia Transportation Partners, comprised of Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation, Kiewit Infrastructure South Company, Dewberry and Davis and STV Incorporated;

• Fluor-Lane;

• CW Matthews Contracting and the Michael Baker Corporation;

• Northwest Express Road Builders, comprised of Archer Western Contractors, The Hubbard Group and Parsons and;

• Northwest Corridor Mobility Partners, teaming Ferrovial Agroman S.A. and Prince Contracting.

Each organisation, in responding to GDOT, submitted a plan to finance 10 percent to 20 percent of the design-build cost, estimated at around $750 million to $850 million the department said.

Department commissioner Keith Golden, named to replace Vance Smith, a PPP advocate who was forced to resign late last year, called the industry feedback promising.

NWC is a managed lane project designed to lessen traffic congestion in metropolitan Atlanta. The project replaced WxNW, conceived under Smith, which was supposed to help position Georgia as a leading US hub for privatising transportation infrastructure, akin to Virginia and Florida.

But WxNW was shelved with the appointment of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who contested the would-be PPP on the grounds that it gave away too much autonomy.

Georgia DOT will next develop a shortlist and issue a request for proposal (RFP) in December, the department said. The RFP will be due in June 2013, with construction slated to start in 2014.