Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), in its recent meeting in Richmond, approved four contracts to transfer 562 miles of interstate and major primary highway maintenance responsibility to the private sector. The interstates covered by the $157.3 million in contracts include portions of interstates 81, 77 and 581 in southwest Virginia and sections of interstates 64, 95, 85, and 295 in central Virginia.
The five-year performance-based contracts begin July 1 and may be renewed for up to four years. They include items such as:
Roadway maintenance (litter pickup, pothole repair);
Drainage system maintenance;
Guardrail and sign repair;
Snow removal; and
VDOT will retain responsibility for major bridge and pavement rehabilitation projects. These will be awarded to contractors on a case-by-case basis.
The CTB awarded TME Enterprises of Norfolk, Va., a $43 million contract to maintain 149 miles of I-81 and I-77 in the Bristol area.
The Infrastructure Corp. of America (ICA) of Brentwood, Tenn., received a $28.6 million contract to maintain 105 miles in the Salem area, including portions of I-81, I-581, Route 220 and Route 460.
Virginia Maintenance Services (VMS) of Richmond was awarded two separate contracts for interstate maintenance north and south of Richmond. The first was a $55 million contract covering 170 miles of interstates 64, 95, 195 and 295, as well as parts of routes 76 (Powhite Parkway), 288 and 150 (Chippenham Parkway). The second contract for $30.7 million includes 138 miles including portions of interstates 85, 95 and 295.
"VDOT used a competitive bidding process to choose from 19 private-sector proposals to assume maintenance duties on Virginia interstate highways," said VDOT Commissioner David S. Ekern. "We are committed to work with the private sector where it makes good business sense. These contractors are able to assume maintenance responsibilities and provide high levels of customer service for about the same as it costs VDOT to complete similar work. Working closely with the private sector, we feel confident that we will be able to continue to deliver safe, smooth roadways and emergency response to Virginia motorists."
In 2006, Gov. Timothy Kaine signed legislation that requires all interstate maintenance to be outsourced by July 1, 2009. VDOT has already outsourced the maintenance of I-64 between Richmond and Hampton Roads and west of Richmond to Staunton. With the award of these four contracts, VDOT has now transferred maintenance responsibility for 648 miles, or 58% of interstate to the private sector. Additional contracts to completely outsource the remaining 470 miles of I-81, I-95 and other Virginia interstates will be advertised in the next year.