Unsolicited bid prompts Tampa road RFP

A toll road P3 in Florida is out to tender after a local businessman came forward with a proposal.

The US state of Florida has put a toll road project up for competitive bids following an unsolicited proposal from a local businessman.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has published a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find rival bids to a proposed 33-mile managed lane private toll road in the ‘Tampa Bay area’ of the ‘Sunshine State’.

Proposals are due Wednesday, October 23. Kristin Carson, spokeswoman with FDOT in Tallahassee, Florida, said the Department under state law must initiate a competitive bidding process when an unsolicited proposal for a transportation project is submitted.

The so-called ‘FL54 Xpressway’ is a proposed design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) concession of the Florida State Route 54 (SR 54) and State Route 56 (SR 56) corridor in Pasco County, north of Tampa.

Gerald Stanley, a bridge and road builder who has worked as a transportation consultant with FDOT, formed ‘International Infrastructure Partners’ (IPP) “specifically to manage this project,” according to the four-page proposal for the FL54 Xpressway.

Guggenheim Partners and construction company PCL are involved in IPP. Guggenheim, a financial services firm, is funding the project, estimated to cost $2 billion. Stanley delivered the proposal to the Department in person.

Reached at his residence in Lutz, Florida, Stanley said he put the FL54 Xpressway project together as a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) because the state did not have the required capital. He noted that the project would use an availability payment structure.

“There is no east-west route in Pasco not in gridlock,” Stanley, asked about his rationale for the project, replied. He said population growth in the county is “enormous”.