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PennDOT seeks 'unsolicited' public-private projects

By , - Last modified: May 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM

PennDOT has put out a call for companies to submit proposals for unsolicited public-private partnerships, or P3s, in transportation, saying it's looking for new ideas on how the state can save money and improve transportation.

"We're looking for new ideas or projects where you think the private sector might be able to do it better," said Erin Waters-Trasatt, a PennDOT spokeswoman.

 The department wants any and all suggestions for transportation projects that would fall directly under state auspices that it hasn't already asked the private sector to submit proposals for, she said. The deadline is May 31.

 That means the proposals couldn't be for the turnpike or a local transit agency, because those entities are controlled by governing boards outside the direction of the governor, Waters-Trasatt said.

 PennDOT is accepting P3 proposals for roads, bridges, railways, aviation and ports projects.

 In September, Gov. Tom Corbett signed the Public and Private Partnerships for Transportation Act, which authorizes use of P3 projects and establishes a seven-person board to review and approve potential projects.

 If the board determines a state operation would be administered cost effectively by a private company, that firm could submit a detailed proposal for review and could enter into a contract with the state for a defined period of time.

 Submission guidelines can be found at the state's P3 website. The next window for proposals is in October.

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