Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board approved a proposal to seek an innovative bridge bundling plan to reconstruct 15 bridges along two interstates in Luzerne County. A contractor will be sought for an Adjusted Bid, Design-Build (AB-DB) project to reconstruct 10 bridges along a 25-mile section of Interstate 81 and five bridges along a 10-mile section of Interstate 80.

“Pennsylvania’s Public-Private Partnership law, Act 88, gives us more flexibility to quickly tackle this regional bridge challenge in a way that will save money while giving us a high-quality outcome,” said PennDOT Secretary and P3 Board Chair Leslie S. Richards. “We have used P3 projects to great benefit and this will be another example.”

The 15 bridges are fully funded on the current Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). Design will begin in 2019 and construction would be completed by 2023.

Adjusted Bid-Design Build allows the designer and contractor to work in close collaboration, meaning a better-quality product. The method also allows PennDOT to put greater weight on a contractor’s qualifications in addition to cost factors.

The action came during the regular meeting of the P3 board during which members also were given updates on existing P3 projects.

The P3 Board and PennDOT’s P3 Office were established after the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act was signed into law in September 2012 and authorized P3 projects in Pennsylvania. This law allows PennDOT and other transportation authorities and commissions to partner with private companies to participate in delivering, maintaining and financing transportation-related projects.