P3 board approves bridge bundling proposal in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania- The Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board approved a proposal to reconstruct 15 bridges and two interstates in Luzerne County. The bridges are located along a 25-mile section of Interstate 81 and a 10-mile section of Interstate 80. The proposal is part of an adjusted bid, design-build that will allow the designer and contractor to work in close collaboration. The method also allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to put greater weight on a contractor’s qualifications in addition to cost factors.

The bridges are fully funded through the current Transportation Improvement Plan. Design will begin in 2019 and construction will be completed by 2023. The P3 Board and PennDOT’s P3 Office were established after the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act was signed into law in September 2012 and authorized P3 projects in Pennsylvania.

UConn Health issues solicitation for P3

Connecticut- University of Connecticut (UConn) Health is the state’s public academic health center, which includes John Dempsey Hospital, UConn School of Health, UConn School of Dental Medicine, The Graduate School, UConn Medical Group, dental clinics, research laboratories and more. This week, the health system took a step in pursuing a public-private partnership (P3) by releasing a national solicitation of interest letter. The letter is a request for proposals from health organizations across the country interested in partnering with the Farmington-based health system.

The General Assembly passed legislation in June 2017 requiring UConn Health’s Board of Directors to begin the process of establishing a P3 and to submit a report to the legislature by April. The three-page report summarized the network’s efforts, the rationale for the partnership and the process needed to move forward. UConn Health was established in 1961. In recent years, the health network opened its $203 million outpatient pavilion – a 300,000 square-foot facility – and the $318 million inpatient University Tower, which has 169 inpatient beds. The 384,000 square-foot tower was funded through general obligation state bonds. UConn Health’s annual budget has been about $1 billion over the last five years – with about 22 to 24 percent coming from state appropriations.

MARTA expansion will need P3 funding

Georgia– The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system expansion plan will include more light-rail expansion. A revised proposal now includes more rail as well as leaning on other sources of funding beyond public funds. The new plan aims to build a zigzag of light rail through the city from Greenbriar, along parts of the BeltLine, to the Emory/Centers for Disease Control area.

 

The new plan also adds more rail in southeast Atlanta and on the west side and has the so-called “Clifton Corridor” line up to Emory. This is contingent on its supporters finding more money, which opens the door for a public-private partnership (P3), to see the project to fruition. Completion of the full 22-mile loop is slated to cost $11 billion, a number that is not even close to being covered by Atlanta’s 40-year half-penny sales tax worth only $2.5 billion. The next official step is a vote by the MARTA board scheduled for Oct. 4.

HART contemplates P3 as best option to complete rail line

Hawaii– The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is nearing a decision on whether to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to complete and then maintain the city’s 20-mile rail line. Faced with financial and construction setbacks, the city is now debating whether or not to bring in a private firm to mitigate the projected financial overrun of completion and maintenance/operations of the rail line.

 

In 2012 the city promised completion of the rail line for $5.63 billion by 2019, yet costs have now ballooned to nearly $9 billion and the date of completion has been pushed to 2025. The project has faced delays that have resulted in $745 million dollars of Federal funding being withheld until a feasible plan to resolve the current state of the project is implemented. Further complicating the project is an ongoing $1.4 billion P3 contract for operations and maintenance that the city awarded to a metropolitan train company that could extend until 2021. With every year of delays adding $100 million to the cost of the rail line, a P3 to finish the remaining 8 miles of track is becoming a more feasible solution.