Transit, bridges P3s approved in Pennsylvania

The US state's Department of Transportation is due to move ahead with RFQs on the projects in spring 2016.

The Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (PPP; P3) Board has approved the P3 delivery method for two new projects in the state, one for transit and one for the repair and replacement of county-owned bridges. 

The board saw merit in using a partnership arrangement to carry out replacement of 28 bridges and repair of six more in Northampton County, which was presented as an unsolicited proposal in October to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) during an open submission period by Clearwater Construction. 

The second approved project calls for transit-oriented development at the Middletown Train Station in which a private developer would design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) “commercially viable facilities on department-owned parcels near the station while maintaining or expanding station parking”, according to a PennDOT statement. 

The Middletown station P3 would also require the private partner to oversee operations and maintenance, including snow removal, and to cover all operation and maintenance costs. 

With board approval in the bag, PennDOT will move ahead with requests for qualifications (RFQ) on the projects in spring 2016.

The seven-member Pennsylvania P3 board was created in 2012 through the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act. The ability to utilise the P3 delivery method hinges on board approval. 

Once approval is received, individual DOTs are then given clearance, but not required, to advertise a competitive RFP and enter contracts with the private sector.