Public private partnership projects, or P3 projects, have been one of the hottest topics in construction for a while now. Fueling this conversation is the fact that many states have passed P3 laws to help fund their public works projects over the last few years. Just recently we’ve seen P3 legislation in New Hampshire and Kentucky. All in all, 37 states have provided for P3 projects in some form or function, and this infographic from The National Council for Public Private Partnerships helps paint the picture of how they are utilized nationwide.
Infrastructure has been one of the most common ways to incorporate private partners into public projects. In fact, Trump’s infrastructure plan is expected to utilize this project type quite heavily. Recently, a Request for Information has been issued regarding a potential Louisiana P3 project on a section of I-10 in the state’s capital. If you’ve had the pleasure of passing through Baton Rouge during rush hour, you’ll know that an upgrade is long overdue.
For an introduction to P3 projects and how they affect lien or bond rights, take a look at Public Private Partnerships- What’s the Protection?
First Louisiana P3 Project May be on I-10 in Baton Rouge
The Request for Information regarding I10 Capital Corridor Improvements can be found here.
As many know, Louisiana’s budget situation could be healthier. This has lead to a backlog of needed infrastructure improvements totaling over $12 billion. Lawmakers have contemplated creative options to address the situation, but in the short term, one of the more obvious possible solutions is the utilization of P3 projects.
One of the state’s more frustrating infrastructural issues is the I-10 corridor in Baton Rouge. To put it gently, the traffic on this section of I-10 is horrendous. Because the state is in such dire straits, the Louisiana DOTD has begun collecting information on a potential private partnership to institute the much needed work on the Baton Rouge I-10 corridor.
While the state is simply gathering information, rather than soliciting plans or bids for the project, this may eventually become the first Louisiana P3 project following Louisiana’s recent P3 legislation. Here are some of the project highlights under consideration as part of the I-10 improvement through the Capital Region (West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, and Ascension Parishes):
- LA 415 Interchange Improvement
- I-10 Widening, LA 415 – LA 1
- I-10 Widening, Bridge & Approaches, Eastbound & Westbound, West Baton Rouge Parish
- I-10 Widening, Bridge & Approaches, Eastbound & Westbound, East Baton Rouge Parish
- I-10 Widening from I-110 to I-12, including modifications/improvements for the interchanges in the area
- Widening I-10, LA 73 to LA 22
- Improvements to the LA 22 Interchange
It would be best to temper expectations. The Louisiana DOTD was very adamant in its Request for Information that it was in no way committing itself to going forward with the P3 project. While this request merely represents the beginning of an information gathering phase, it’s easy to get excited about possible improvements to the Baton Rouge I-10 corridor. This very well could be the first Louisiana P3 project of many to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure. Selfishly, I hope the potholes of New Orleans are next.
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