Northampton County bridge replacement program moves forward

February 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on Northampton County bridge replacement program moves forward
Filed under: News 

P3altSeveral months ago, Northampton County officials said they intended to pursue a bundling approach to address the county’s significant bridge problem. This week, new details are emerging.

Kriger Construction will rebuild 33 bridges over the next three years for $37.5 million through a public-private partnership arrangement. The county will pay for the work over 10 years, during which Kriger will be responsible for maintenance of the bridges.

The county will not need to raise taxes (at least not because of the bridge project), and officials believe that by bundling the projects, the county will save between 20 and 30 percent per bridge compared with what it would have paid to rebuild them individually.

News accounts say that this is the first county-level P-3 in the country. The county needed to perform some legal gymnastics to make it work, since counties are not permitted to contract directly with the builder under Pennsylvania’s P-3 law.

If the project is successful, the county will proceed with the same approach for the remaining 66 bridges that need to be replaced.

“If it works like they believe it will, communities across the country will probably copy Northampton’s blueprint,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “It could serve as an example of how P-3s can help address infrastructure needs.”



P3 Board approves Turnpike fiber optic cable project

June 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on P3 Board approves Turnpike fiber optic cable project
Filed under: News 

P3altLate last week, the state Public-Private Partnership Board approved the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s proposal to seek a firm to install fiber optic cable along the Turnpike and its extensions.

The cable will span more than 550 miles and significantly improve the communication capacity for the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT. The proposal invites a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the cable network and lease the remaining capacity of the network to other users.

Utilizing the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act of 2012 will enable the Turnpike Commission to reserve its capital for rebuilding the toll road. The Commission expects bids from large firms located in metropolitan regions of the country.

Industry input will be sought by October of this year, and the Commission plans to have a preferred firm selected by June of 2017, with construction to be completed in 2018.

“The aging system is nearing its capacity, and maintenance costs are increasing,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “An economically efficient P3 project is a great way to improve wireless infrastructure and capacity to meet the Turnpike’s needs into the future.”



Public-Private Partnership Legislation Set to Become Law

July 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Public-Private Partnership Legislation Set to Become Law
Filed under: News 
The following article is provided by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors:

As the General Assembly scrambled to complete the state budget before the June 30 constitutional deadline, a flurry of late night actions were taken before they adjourned for a summer recess. One of those measures affecting the industry was the final passage of House Bill 3, which will pave the way for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law in Pennsylvania for transportation projects. The measure unanimously passed the Senate (49-0) but was more contentious in the House (117-79). The measure is now awaiting signature of Governor Corbett who indicated that he planned to sign it, possibly as early as today. Read more


Indiana Toll Road update

May 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on Indiana Toll Road update
Filed under: News 

Several years ago, as Pennsylvania was considering the merits of selling or leasing the Turnpike, proponents pointed toward Indiana as a successful example of leveraging transportation funding through privatization.  That grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right?

In 2006, Indiana entered into a 75-year lease with a consortium of foreign investors, who paid $3.8 billion to operate the Indiana Toll Road.  The state then embarked on an ambitious highway construction program.

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette this week, nearly all of the $3.8 billion will have been spent or allocated by the time the state’s next governor takes office in January, portending a significant drop in the highway program and putting Indiana back in the same boat as many other states, including Pennsylvania. Read more


P3’s are a tool, not a panacea

February 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

As legislators at last seem to be making headway in advancing a public-private partnership bill, it behooves us to keep some perspective on how much P3’s can contribute to a solution to Pennsylvania’s transportation funding woes.

Many federal and state elected officials suggest that private-sector financing holds significant promise as a funding solution.  The transportation construction industry agrees that a comprehensive solution should include the opportunity for private investment, but there are several things about privatization that everyone should consider and understand.

First is the scope of the funding problem.  Pennsylvania’s Transportation Advisory Committee calculated the state’s funding gap for PennDOT, public transit and local roads at $3.5 billion annually.  It is not realistic to believe that market-driven private sector investment will solve the entire problem, or even a significant portion of it.

As the Pennsylvania Economy League’s transportation study noted six years ago, a comprehensive solution certainly must include a wide variety of funding mechanisms, including increased user fees, local taxing authority and prudent use of debt, as well as private investment. Read more