PennDOT picks team for rapid bridge replacement program

The state Department of Transportation has picked its private-sector partner in a program to replace 558 bridges across the state.

Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, under its $899 million proposal, will design and build the bridges and will be responsible for maintaining each bridge for 25 years after its replacement.

The state will retain ownership, and PennDOT will be responsible for routine maintenance such as snow and debris removal.

Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch made the announcement Friday at a news conference near the Spanglers Mill Road Bridge over the Yellow Breeches Creek near New Cumberland, one of the bridges to be replaced under the program.

Because the same basic design and construction standards will be used for multiple bridges, the average cost for design, construction and maintenance per bridge is $1.6 million.

Schoch said the cost to design, construct and maintain a bridge for 28 years would average more than $2 million under PennDOT’s standard process.

The project will cost an average of $65 million annually for the 28-year contract term.

Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners and its 11 subcontractors must begin construction next summer, and they must complete the replacements within 36 months.

The group expects to finish 58 bridges next year and wrap up work on all projects eight months earlier than required.

A list of bridges included in the project can be found at www.P3forPA.pa.gov.

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