Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation finalized all terms for the department's $899 million Rapid Bridge Replacement Project (RBR), clearing the way for construction to begin this summer on the project to 558 bridges across the state.

“We have a signed contract completed, and the Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners team has already begun preparing for construction of these bridges,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “This is an important milestone in the state’s most ambitious public-private partnership initiative to date.”

In October 2014, PennDOT selected Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners and its team of 11 Pennsylvania-based subcontractors to lead the project. The team will manage the bridges' design, construction and maintenance for 25 years after construction under the public-private partnership (P3) contract. It will also be responsible for securing the capital necessary for construction which will begin in the summer of 2015 and all 558 bridges must be replaced within 36 months. PennDOT will maintain ownership of the bridges.

The P3 will deliver significant savings, allow PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly than under the agency’s traditional procurement model, and minimize the impact on motorists.

The average project cost per bridge for design, construction and maintenance is $1.6 million. Through PennDOT’s standard process, the cost to design, construct and maintain a bridge for 28 years (which includes construction period and 25 years maintenance) would average more than $2 million, Schoch noted.

To see the bridges included in the initiative and to learn more about the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and P3 in Pennsylvania, visit www.P3forPA.pa.gov.

Additional information on the project, the team and how to bid on the project can be found at www.PARapidBridges.com.

The RBR initiative was approved by the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board on Sept. 27, 2013.