Pennsylvania’s Public Private Transportation Partnership (P3) Board approved Thursday a program that the state hopes will accelerate bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Through the Major Bridge P3 program, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will be able to accelerate work on major bridges across the state by using user fees.
The P3 Board said the program would allow PennDOT to accelerate repairs to major bridges, avoid time and financial impacts of travel diversion, offset gas tax revenue losses, ensure users contribute fairly to construction costs, create a sustainable funding model and ensure public safety.
PennDOT will use the P3 delivery model for major bridges and apply it across the state. Using this model, PennDOT can leverage private-sector innovation to address the complex nature of the projects (due to their size, location, and cost to replace or rehabilitate) and use it to ensure the longevity of infrastructure investments.
The program is part of PennDOT’s Pathways initiative, which is part of the department’s work to find sustainable transportation funding options in the light of an ever-growing gap between infrastructure needs and infrastructure funding. In that state, 74 percent of highway and bridge funding comes from gas taxes. However, fuel consumption in the state has been decreasing. The Pathways initiative aims to provide residents, travelers, and businesses with high-quality transportation infrastructure by using alternative funding solutions.