PennDOT announces Major Bridge P3 Initiative

© PennDOT

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced last week that it had chosen nine bridges to be considered for the state’s PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (P3) Initiative.

The P3 initiative is part of the state’s study into sustainable transportation funding methods and completing critical projects.

“Our reliance on funding models from the last century leaves us especially vulnerable to fund losses stemming from volatile economic conditions and the increasing transition to alternative-fuel or electric vehicles,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “This initiative will help us make much-needed improvements without compromising the routine projects our communities and industry partners rely on.”

Approved by the Pennsylvania P3 Board in November, the Major Bridge P3 Initiative allows PennDOT to use the P3 delivery model to rehabilitate or replace bridges while considering alternative funding methods, like tolling, as a long-term funding solution. Using the P3 model, PennDOT can leverage private investment to rebuild the bridges while taking advantage of historically low-interest rates and a favorable labor market.

Bridges being considered for the Major Bridge P3 Initiative are larger bridges in need of rehabilitation or replacement and ones where construction could begin in two to four years.

Projects being considered include I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project (Berks County); I-79 Widening, Bridges and Bridgeville Interchange Reconfiguration (Allegheny County); I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges (Clarion County); I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges (Luzerne County); I-80 North Fork Bridges Project (Jefferson County); I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge Project (Luzerne and Carbon counties); I-81 Susquehanna Project (Susquehanna County); I-83 South Bridge Project (Dauphin County); and I-95 Girard Point Bridge Improvement Project (Philadelphia County).