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State's biggest highway project to be designed, built, financed by private team

ODOT's first use of "P3"

The Ohio Department of Transportation says it is ready to undertake the largest highway project in the state's history using a new project delivery method, the Public Private Partnership (P3).

A team of designers, contractors and financiers, the Portsmouth Gateway Group, was chosen from among several competitors to build the Portsmouth Bypass in Scioto County, a 16-mile, four-lane limited access highway from U.S. 23 north of Lucasville to U.S. 52 near Sciotoville.

It is estimated to cost $429 million and will complete the “missing link” of the Appalachian Development Highway System in Ohio.

This is ODOT's first attempt to use the P3 to deliver a state highway project. P3 projects have proliferated across the country as states look for ways to finance highway and bridge projects in the face of dwindling fuel tax revenue.

"By using a P3, ODOT is able to accelerate the entire project by decades, and the department can avoid rising costs by taking advantage of current competitive economic conditions," according to a spokesman for ODOT.

Under the terms of a proposed agreement with ODOT, the Portsmouth Gateway Group will design, build and finance the highway, with ODOT repaying the team over 35 years.

The group includes the following team members:

• Dragados, USA, Inc.
• The Beaver Excavating Company
• John R. Jurgensen, Co., Inc.
• ms consultants, inc.
• ACS Infrastructure Development, Inc.
• Infrared Capital Partners Limited
• Star America Fund GP

In the coming weeks, ODOT will scrutinize the team's proposal to ensure it is complete.  The right-of-way has already been acquired and clearing and demolition projects are under way. Construction could begin as early as the summer of 2015.

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