Detroit-area I-75 to see $799M of construction through 2023, part of $1.6B modernization
- Detroit-area Oakland County, Michigan, will see $799 million of construction during the next five years as part of the $1.6 billion Segments 2 and 3 of the Michigan DOT’s I-75 Modernization Project, The Oakland Press reported.
- The MDOT awarded the $244 million design-build contract for Segment 2 of the project to the joint venture of Walsh Construction Co. and Toebe Construction LLC in July 2018. Walsh-Toebe will install 8 miles of pavement, replace 18 structures, upgrade drainage, install noise walls and build a portion of the entire modernization project's high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
- Oakland Corridor Partners won the $1.4 billion contract to design, build, finance and maintain Segment 3 in September 2018. The group will rebuild more than 5 miles of pavement, modernize the highway, rehab 28 bridges and make safety upgrades. Construction alone is estimated at $629 million, according to the project’s revenue bond underwriters. Segment 1 was completed at a cost of $90 million.
The MDOT’s original plan was to award as many as five separate contracts for the 18-mile I-75 modernization. The decision to divide the project into three pieces and hand over Segment 3 to Oakland Corridor Partners — John Laing Investment Ltd., AECOM Capital Inc., Jay Dee Contractors Inc., Ajax Paving Industries Inc. and Dan's Excavating Inc. — will shorten the construction schedule by approximately 10 years.
The state said it is also benefiting from including maintenance in the Segment 3 deal. "In agreements that transfer maintenance responsibilities to a private party,” said former state transportation director Kirk Strudel, "the public owner benefits from guaranteed performance standards and long-term pricing that is locked in throughout the agreement.”
More state DOTs are embracing the public-private partnership (P3) method to get their transportation projects done more efficiently and pass on all or a portion of the financing headaches. The Ohio DOT, for instance, completed its first P3 in December.
The 16-mile, $634 million Portsmouth Bypass, or Ohio 823, is now open to motorists, and like the MDOT’s I-75 modernization, was originally supposed to be split into multiple phases. The ODOT said if the department had issued separate contracts, only the first of three would be finished by now instead of the entire project. Portsmouth Gateway Group, which includes ACS Infrastructure, InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd. and Star America, will also maintain the four-lane highway for 35 years. The construction costs were $400 million, and contractors on the project included Dragados USA, The Beaver Excavating Co. and The John R. Jurgenson Co.
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