Supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently authorized a project aimed at improving county-owned bridges throughout the commonwealth and bolstering Middletown transit development in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) Secretary and P3 Board Chair Leslie Richards identified public-private partnerships as a way to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, commending the choice of options for upgrading existing transit and introducing new services to the public.
In particular, two projects captured the board’s attention: first, Northampton County’s need to replace or repair 34 existing bridges — for which Clearwater Construction of Mercer, Pennsylvania, has already submitted a proposal — and, second, PennDOT-supported improvements at the Middletown train station, including new commercial facilities and parking, plus ongoing maintenance such as snow removal.
Subsequent to board approval and requirement finalization, PennDOT will solicit private sector statements of qualification in spring 2016, followed by plans to accept project proposals from qualified firms.
“Having spent the vast majority of my career working in the private sector, I know there are many partnership opportunities with government that can benefit both sides,” Wolf said. “I applaud and support efforts to make transportation services better, or to deliver entirely new ones.”
Enacted in 2012, the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act allows PennDOT and related authorities to partner with private enterprises for transportation-related initiatives. The seven-member P3 board examines and approves potential projects, with the ability to issue a competitive RFP for those operations deemed to be more cost-effective if provided by a private company.
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