The state Department of Transportation is inviting the private sector to submit their qualifications to compete for the opportunity to enter into a public-private partnership to administer its Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (P3) Initiative. The initiative would fund the reconstruction or replacement of the identified bridges through tolling.
While interested vendors have until August 5 to submit their qualifications and interest, PennDOT has not yet identified which, if any, of the identified bridges will be chosen for a final P3 contract. The bridges under consideration and study for the initiative include the following:
- 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).
PennDOT’s announcement was met with anger by some legislators, such as the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. Wayne Langerholc, who feel that the announcement is the wrong move right after the close of budget negotiations. Langerholc sponsored legislation to terminate the P3 Bridge Tolling initiative, which passed the Senate and is pending in the House.