VA taps P3 project structure for $460M highway
- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday that the state will use a $460 million public-private partnership to add more high-occupancy toll lanes to the Alexandria-to-DC portion of Interstate 395, according to WAMU.
- Australia-based Transurban will extend existing HOT lines by 8 miles to the Washington, DC, border, in addition to a reversible lane and a southbound lane to other portions of the highway. The company will design, build, operate and maintain the line upon completion in 2019.
- Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said the P3 deal with Transurban allows for the project's timely delivery and also shifts risk to the private sector.
In July, McAuliffe announced another highway initiative, a $1.4 billion "Atlantic Gateway" expansion of I-95, upgrades to Virginia Railway Express and Amtrak service and other miscellaneous bridge and road work. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Virginia a $165 million FASTLANE grant for the project, although it originally requested $200 million. The state will kick in $710 million toward construction, while Transurban and CSX Transportation have committed $565 million in private funds.
Virginia has embraced the P3 concept in an effort to meet its ambitious transportation goals. The governor announced late last year that the state had awarded a 50-year, high-occupancy toll lane contract to a Ferrovial-led joint venture under a P3, a deal that he expected will save Virginians $2.5 billion.
Florida also has put a major project in the hands of a P3, with the Skanska-led $2.3 billion, 21-mile Interstate 4 expansion and renovation in Orlando. For the states and agencies that utilize P3s, many find that they are able to leverage their limited funds across many more capital projects because the private components of the P3s take on most of the project financing duties, usually in return for the rights to the revenue the project generates when completed.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter