Pennsylvania seeks unsolicited PPP proposals

The state’s transportation agency has held open submission periods since 2013, receiving 21 pitches.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation is once again looking for unsolicited proposals for private sector PPP projects.

PennDOT has held biannual open submission periods since May 2013, allowing private sector firms to pitch innovative ways to deliver transportation projects involving PennDOT-owned infrastructure assets. The agency received one proposal during a previous submission period earlier this year, and has heard 21 such pitches in the four-and-a-half years since launching the initiative.

“The P3 statute is a wonderful new tool and we know there is a lot more potential out there for PennDOT and local agencies to take advantage of this statute,” a PennDOT spokesman told Infrastructure Investor.

Projects resulting from unsolicited bids include a $50 million PPP to replace 33 bridges in Northampton County, a plan to establish a wetland mitigation bank to offset environmental impacts of construction projects and a partnership to develop a fibre-optic broadband network with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

“Our guidelines allow for the submission of unsolicited proposals twice a year, in April and October,” the spokesman said. “We review and evaluate each proposal to determine if the P3 delivery method is an appropriate and viable to meet the desired goal.”

Increasingly, transportation agencies in the US have opened the door for unsolicited pitches from private sector entities. Last week, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that it is considering three projects stemming from unsolicited proposals.

PennDOT passed PPP-enabling legislation in 2012.