ROADS/BRIDGES: First Ohio P3 aims to bypass Portsmouth

July 19, 2017

The public-private partnership on the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway will cut down the construction timeline by 17 years

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and its public-private partner, the Portsmouth Gateway Group (PGG), are constructing a 16-mile, four-lane, $429-million bypass of Portsmouth.

Now known as the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway/S.R. 823, the effort is ODOT’s first major public-private partnership (P3) and the largest single roadway construction project in state history. Local officials hope the project, which will allow quick access between nearby cities, will also boost development.

For more than 50 years, ODOT officials have been talking about bypassing Portsmouth, the county seat of Scioto County. The department was originally planning to bid out the project, which bypasses 80 intersections and 30 traffic signals, in early 2011 as a three-stage project, building the middle section first. However, that same year, the Ohio Legislature passed a law allowing P3s, broadening ODOT‘s construction options. Delivering all 16 miles as a P3 shaves 17 years off the original three-phase construction timeline and allows ODOT to pay off the construction costs over 35 years.

The PGG, a coalition of construction companies and private developers, won the project over two other bidders in 2013, and construction began on the project two years later. The PGG fully embraced the one-stage project and set a five-year design and construction timeline for completion.


Story & image source: Engineering News-Record

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