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Parsons submits proposal for Colorado PPP

The construction firm has submitted an unsolicited proposal to upgrade Interstate 70 as a public-private partnership. If Colorado decides to accept Parsons’ proposal, the state will also have to open the project to competitive bidding.

Engineering and construction firm Parsons has submitted a proposal to pursue a significant transportation project in Colorado as a public-private partnership (PPP), potentially opening a PPP procurement process for the project.

The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), a government-owned business that forms part of the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT), has received a proposal from Parsons for a programme of infrastructure improvements on the Interstate 70 (I-70) west mountain corridor, according to a statement from the Colorado DOT.

Parsons’ proposal presents an “innovative finance opportunity that requires little or no public funding,” the Colorado DOT said in the statement.

The Colorado DOT and HPTE are currently in the process of reviewing the proposal and will decide whether to submit the proposal for formal review by mid-September. The formal review process would take at least another three months to complete.  If the proposal passes the formal evaluation process, Colorado will then have to issue a request for proposals to solicit interest from other potential private sector partners.

A spokesperson for Parsons declined to comment on the details of the firm’s proposal. The Colorado DOT will not release the details of the proposal until the end of the evaluation process, according to the statement.

Stacey Stegman, a spokesperson for the Colorado DOT, says the I-70 project is larger and has a “greater sense of urgency” than previous projects for which the DOT has received unsolicited proposals from potential private partners.

Stegman said the corridor has “huge transportation needs that nobody can question” and available public funds are not sufficient to support the necessary improvements.

Stegman added that studies of the corridor have already been undertaken, and the corridor was included in an environmental impact report that was completed last year. Stegman emphasised, however, that the DOT has not yet decided whether it supports Parsons’ proposal.