The West Wall and the Northwest Corridor projects were bundled together in attempt to get the best efficiencies of staff resources and construction costs. However, the more critical need to address congestion is along the Northwest Corridor and it has been approved by the State Transportation Board to move forward as a P3. Funding for the West Wall is currently in the long-range work program.
Earlier this year and under the previous procurement, Governor Nathan Deal voiced concern over the delivery method chosen and how we could improve the State’s control of the corridor and assets. Since the DBF method has been determined, the Governor has voiced his commitment to the project and has allocated $300 Million of prior motor fuel funds for the project in his recently passed state budget. Further, the State Transportation Board has adopted this project as part of Georgia DOT’s Managed Lanes System Plan, designed to relieve congestion in metropolitan Atlanta.
The Board and Georgia DOT have shown its commitment to the project by providing the majority of the funds for its construction. Georgia DOT has started the process to revise the TIP to identify additional funding sources necessary to cover the gap resulting from the reduction in the private contribution. In addition, the Department developed state-of- the-practice procurement procedures during the previous effort that we will be able to utilize without having to expend resources to recreate them.
Yes, a Design-Build-Finance delivery model meets the private participation requirements of O.C.G.A. § 32-2-79 and 80 (P3 Code Sections) and is considered a Public Private Partnership (P3), according to correspondence from the Attorney General on March 15, 2012. A P3 is an arrangement between Georgia DOT and one or more private or public entities that provides for one or more of the planning, development, design, construction, reconstruction, extension, expansion, financing, operation, maintenance, and other services to deliver a transportation project.
Design-Build-Finance (DBF) project delivery allows the state to transfer the project’s design, construction and a part of the initial financing responsibility to the private sector. This enables the State to close the short-term gap in financing the project.
No, DBF has not been used in Georgia. However, Design-Build (DB) has been used in a number of high profile projects such as the KIA Interchange and the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway. The DBF method is similar to these types of projects since it contains the elements of design-build but adds private financing to close the gap in funding for the project. The high estimated construction costs of the Northwest Corridor project made it a good candidate for the DBF method.
DBF is very similar to a DB project. The major difference is the design-builder will be funding a portion of the cost of the project during the construction phase. The design-builder will have no Operations and Maintenance responsibilities for the project.
The anticipated total cost of the project is approximately $950 Million. This is an initial estimate of the project but we anticipate that figure will change once more final estimates are done. The project will be funded with:
The previous procurement anticipated public financing to be $350 Million or less. The State recognized that in order to maintain ownership of tolling and long-term decisions about the Northwest Corridor, the State would need to provide the additional funding.
The Governor's budget plan which was passed in the recent legislative session committed $300 Million of prior motor fuel funds to the project, and the latest draft STIP identified a total funding of $201 Million ($26 Million for ROW plus $175 Million for construction), increased from the previous amount. The amount of TIFIA funding remains unchanged.
The private contribution is expected to be approximately 10 to 20 percent of the proposal. GDOT made the determination that this was a reasonable level of private participation based upon other States’ experience with DBF projects of similar magnitude and our funding shortfall. Private financing will also promote industry buy-in and shared risk.
No, there are no changes to the scope of the project. However, this is a new procurement process with new conditions for developing the proposal. The right-of-way and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) responsibilities have been removed from the private entity.
It is anticipated that the Notice of Intent will be released in May 2012, with the Request for Quotes (RFQ) to be released in June 2012. This will determine a short list of proposers who will then receive a Request for Proposals (RFP) in December 2012. RFP responses will be due in June 2013. Selection of the private partner will likely be in late summer/fall 2013. Construction should begin November 2013, and project completion/ open to traffic currently scheduled for March 2018.
Yes, under the P3 law it is required that a public meeting be held after the proposals are received by the Georgia DOT, in those counties where the project will be built (Cobb and Cherokee counties).
Georgia DOT will be responsible for overseeing the delivery and construction of the project and will be in charge of the long-term operation and maintenance of the roadway.
SRTA will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the tolling gantries and equipment and will be responsible for interfacing with the tolling customers through the customer service center.
The minimum and maximum toll rates have not been established at this time. However, Georgia DOT’s general tolling policy and practice is to adjust toll pricing based on the amount of traffic on the roadway, and set to maintain a 45 mph average minimum speed. The tolls will be controlled by the state and not the developer, as in the old procurement model. The state will set the toll rate to optimize the flow of traffic—toll rates will not be based on project.
Transit buses, emergency vehicles, and military vehicles will be exempt from tolls.
The new Northwest Corridor express lanes are designed to give drivers a choice of whether to travel in the toll lane or the existing General Purpose lanes. The new lanes will provide an option for more reliable trip times for drivers in the corridor when the GP lanes are congested. Since the proposed managed lanes will be reversible, the maximum benefit to the GP lanes will be southbound in the morning and northbound in the afternoon.
The revenue from the tolls will pay for perpetual toll collection and enforcement, roadway operations and maintenance, and congestion management.
The purpose of the express lane system is to provide options to the traveling public. Related tolls fund the costs of operations and maintenance on the system. In addition, the tolls will be used to manage the proposed lanes for the long-term. Therefore, tolls will not be removed from these corridors in the future.
During the DB phase, the design-builder will be responsible for the design and installation of the tolling infrastructure; tolling-related ITS and signage; and integration of all tolling components. The design-builder will not be responsible for the tolling operations once the facility is opened to traffic. The tolling operation will be handled by SRTA both for the tolling system and customer operations.
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