Between October 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will accept unsolicited proposals for improvements to Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure and facilities. PennDOT is also hoping to partner with a private company to replace between 200 and 1,000 of the state’s 4,500 structurally deficient bridges.
These proposals are being considered under Pennsylvania’s recently enacted Public-Private Transportation Partnership Law. The law allows PennDOT to enter into public-private partnerships (P3’s) with private or public entities, to develop transportation projects and to share revenue generated from the projects (tolls or user fees, for example).
The law allows PennDOT to solicit bids for projects, but also allows for unsolicited proposals. The first period for unsolicited proposals occurred in May, 2013. The Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board (P3 Board) accepted two proposals, and the P3 steering committee recommended two proposals for “Detailed Level Review” by PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships.
Not all of the proposals need to be directly related to transportation. The first proposal accepted by the P3 Board came from Site Acquisition Services, Inc., located in Paoli, Pennsylvania. The company will identify and market existing PennDOT structures to wireless service providers for attachment of antennas and related facilities. The second accepted proposal, from Bentley Systems, Inc. of Exton, Pennsylvania, involves a new automated permitting system for interstate haulers.
New unsolicited proposals are being accepted until the end of October. Companies can meet one-on-one with officials from the P3 office, prior to submitting a proposal. The office will offer feedback, but will not officially consider the proposal until it is formally submitted.
PennDOT is also soliciting private companies to become partners on a Rapid Bridge Replacement project. PennDOT hopes to streamline costs by working with a single company to replace hundreds of bridges. The size of the project will depend in part on amount of funding supplied by the General Assembly.