Public Private Partnerships: The Maryland Approach
Over the past several years, the State of Maryland has been working to develop the State’s capacity and framework to implement innovative financing and delivery mechanisms for vital infrastructure projects. One tool the State has identified is Public-Private Partnerships (P3) to leverage the expertise and efficiencies of the private sector and mitigate risk for the State when undertaking large transportation infrastructure projects. In order to create an enhanced framework for future P3s that will attract private investment to help build new infrastructure, Maryland passed House Bill 560. Championed by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley on April 9, 2013, the new legislation provides the private sector with a stronger, more predictable and streamlined process, protects public assets, ensures a strong workforce, requires competitive bidding for all projects and allows the private sector to submit new unsolicited concepts to address Maryland’s infrastructure needs. Initial estimates indicate that additional P3s could contribute six to 10 percent of Maryland’s $3.1 billion annual capital budget and create 4,000 jobs each year.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) P3 regulations (COMAR 11.01.17) became effective under emergency action in July 2013 and as final action in October 2013. Separate P3 regulations for the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) are still under development.
Since summer 2013, MDOT and the Maryland Transit Administration have been pursuing an innovative P3 approach for the Purple Line by soliciting a single private partner (concessionaire) who will be responsible for designing, constructing, operating, maintaining and providing a portion of the financing for the project. The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County with 21 stations planned that will provide direct connections to Metrorail’s Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, and the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines. For more information on the Purple Line and this P3 approach, please click here.
For further information about the transportation P3 program please contact Jodie Misiak at: email@example.com
Maryland has successfully completed two other P3 projects:
Seagirt Marine Terminal: The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, LLC entered into a unique P3 agreement, which was announced by Governor O’Malley in November 2009. As part of the 50-year agreement, Ports America agreed to make capital investments over the life of the lease and has provided $140 million to the state for highway, bridge and tunnel projects near the Port of Baltimore. The $1.3 billion deal to enlarge the Seagirt Marine Terminal will create 5,700 jobs and position Baltimore as one of only two U.S. East Coast ports with a 50 foot-deep berth to handle the new Super-Post-Panamax cargo ships. You can find more information here.
I-95 Travel Plazas: The Maryland Transportation Authority sought a P3 to redesign and rebuild to Maryland Travel Plazas along I-95 (John F. Kennedy Highway). Thanks to the $56 million investment from private-sector partners, Areas USA, and their partner Sunoco, the Maryland House Travel Plaza in Harford County is now open to the public. With the Maryland House open, the Chesapeake House Travel Plaza on I-95 in Cecil County will close for reconstruction and is scheduled to open in summer / fall of 2014. These redeveloped, modern facilities stand ready to better meet the needs of millions of motorists who travel along this vital economic corridor. The redeveloped Maryland House and Chesapeake House are supporting an estimated 400 construction jobs and 575 facility jobs. You can find more information on the Travel Plazas here.
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