P3 overlooked for Virginia bridge

The Steering Committee for a bridge-tunnel project in Virginia has opted for the design-build model, ruling out the use of private finance.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced the decision following the first meeting at which the committee was presented with the public sector analysis and competition (PSAC) report for review for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project.

VDOT stated: “Deliberations and concurrence from the Steering Committee has determined the optimal delivery method is as a design-build project procured under the PPTA.”

The authority evaluated and dismissed the design-build-finance-operate-maintain model (DBFOM), citing concerns that the anticipated revenue generation would be “insufficient for value-creating transfer of revenue risk to the private sector.

“Under a DBFOM scenario, public contribution will still be needed to cover more than 90% of the project construction cost.”

The project, to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and widen Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk, is now expected to be fully funded through the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission and other public sources.

The authority is planning to issue a request for qualifications under the design-build model before the end of the year.