Strong interest in ‘greenfield’ Ohio P3

The $500m ‘Portsmouth Bypass’ project has generated interest from Cintra, Macquarie, InfraRed and Plenary.

A $500 million ‘greenfield’ project to add a road in south central Ohio, a state in the US Midwest, has won over Cintra and Macquarie Group, to name a few.

The proposed ‘Portsmouth Bypass’ public-private partnership (PPP; P3) is a four-lane, 16-mile alternative to US Route 52 (US 52) and US Route 23 (US 23).

The project is also the second P3 for Ohio: a $330 million undertaking to replace the ‘Interstate 90 (I-90) Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge’ is expected to have a preferred bidder by the end of summer.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has estimated the Bypass to be worth $500 million. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the P3 published in June drew interest from:

-‘Portsmouth Bypass Development Alliance,’ featuring Kiewit Development Company and Macquarie Capital;

-‘Portsmouth Bypass Development Partners,’ led by Cintra.

-‘Portsmouth Gateway Group,’ with Grupo ACS, InfraRed Capital Partners and Star America Fund, and;

-‘PWP Portsmouth,’ teaming Plenary Group, Walsh Investors and Parsons Enterprises.

Ohio is expecting to put out a bidder shortlist in September. The design, build, finance, operate and maintain contract will be structured via availability payments and span a potential 40-year lease.

The Bypass, to be located in Portsmouth, a city of 20,226, would reduce traffic on US 52 and US 23. In addition to the Bypass and the Innerbelt Bridge design, build, finance project, Ohio is planning a P3 to replace the Brent Spence Bridge.

ODOT has a so-called division of innovative delivery, headed by James Riley, charged with exploring P3s.