Louisiana Takes First Step Toward P3 to Enhance I-10 Capital Corridor
Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:59:56 AM
BATON ROUGE, La.— Delivering on Governor Edwards' commitment to pursue innovative solutions for transportation in Louisiana, DOTD announced the issuance of a Request for Information (RFI) to accelerate major enhancements to the I-10 Capital Corridor through a Public-Private Partnership (P3). In the 2016 Regular Session, the Administration worked with the legislature to change state law through Act 519, allowing DOTD to solicit P3s. Responses to the RFI will be utilized by the State in developing a potential solicitation for the corridor enhancements.

In the transportation industry, P3s generally consist of a private investor providing the necessary capital for construction in exchange for long-term financial contributions from a public entity. This is the first time Louisiana has formally considered pursuing alternative financing for transportation, as current funding levels severely limit the State's ability to dedicate revenue to critical capacity projects.

"This is a first step in positioning the State to leverage private sector resources in delivering major enhancements to the I-10 Capital Corridor," said Governor Edwards. "We aren't likely to have the revenue needed to make a P3 work for the entire corridor today, but we will be ready to advance such a partnership if the legislature acts in a meaningful way to fund transportation during the upcoming Regular Session. That is my commitment to the people of Louisiana."

Last summer, the Governor created a task force to study and recommend how best to solve the State's transportation issues. In December, the task force made serious funding and policy recommendations, including that P3s should be utilized to leverage the investment for accelerated delivery of projects in Louisiana.

"Private investors have their eyes on Louisiana and are eager to invest here," said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. "If we have the funding, I am confident that P3s can work in Louisiana. When handled responsibly, the benefit of these agreements is that more projects can be delivered sooner and that is what we want to provide to the people of Louisiana."

The RFI, an industry best practice for such endeavors, is open for response by interested parties from January 30 to March 31, 2017. The State is not obligated to pursue a solicitation or otherwise enter into a P3 due to issuance of the RFI. The RFI, which provides the scope of the potential work and details the information requested, can be accessed here. Projects included in the RFI will continue to advance as DOTD considers a potential P3.

"This innovative financing method has worked in other states that have invested in infrastructure," said Wilson. "We want this to be successful and we want to responsibly expand innovative financing and delivery of projects all over Louisiana."

With issuance of the RFI, the Edwards Administration is the first in the State's history to seriously pursue such a partnership for infrastructure. The move highlights a trend toward innovation within DOTD, as last year the Administration advanced an innovative design-build procurement to accelerate project delivery on I-10 widening from Highland Road the LA 73.