The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced it has signed its first-ever public private initiative (PPI) contract, a developer services agreement (DSA). The $38.5 million DSA is with Georgia Transportation Partners (GTP), a joint-venture company formed by Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. and Kiewit Southern Co. that has proposed significant improvements to relieve congestion along I-75 and I-575, the Northwest Corridor.
The DSA provides the procedural framework for the Georgia DOT and private-partner GTP to examine improvements to the Northwest Corridor. Congestion-relief options to be studied under the DSA include a combination of high occupancy vehicle, high occupancy toll, express toll and truck-only toll lanes and a bus rapid transit system. The entire scope of services for the DSA is to be completed no later than July 1, 2009.
Recent Georgia law allows private-sector entities to submit proposals for public-sector projects. The state reviews these PPI proposals, makes them public and allows for other companies to submit competing proposals. GTP's proposal is the first accepted by the Georgia DOT and the State Transportation Board since the general assembly passed legislation in 2004 allowing PPI projects.
"The PPI process will allow us to evaluate badly needed traffic solutions for this corridor and implement them in a quicker, more efficient and more cost-effective way than under the traditional bid process," said Georgia DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl. "This added flexibility helps us keep up with the infrastructure needs of our growing state."
The GTP team includes 19 engineering, financial services and consulting firms, who along with Bechtel and Kiewit Southern are under contract to perform preliminary engineering and development services in support of transportation improvements to the Northwest Corridor.
"We're proud to help the state determine the best transportation solutions and how best to implement them for this important state and regional corridor," said Jim Dell, GTP project manager with Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. "Our objective is to deliver smoother-flowing and safer travel, transit options and sustainable development opportunities, faster."
Upon receipt of environmental approvals and completion of the DSA, the Georgia DOT will decide whether to proceed with GTP to design and construct the project.
"This is truly a cooperative approach to bringing traffic relief to this important corridor," said Kiewit Spokesman Kent Grisham. "This blend of best practices from both the business world and government are the future for construction. We look forward to working with the Georgia DOT on this first-of-its-kind project."