The milestone was reached by Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP), a consortium made up of Macquarie Capital and S&B USA Concessions. Design and construction can now begin on the first six of nine bridges identified as being in need of replacement under Pennsylvania’s Major Bridge P3 Program.

Construction of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) scheme is set to begin in September 2023 and to be completed between September 2027 and June 2028. The design and construction of the work will be undertaken by a joint venture made up of S&B USA Construction and FCC Construction.

The current phase consists of the design, construction, financing and maintenance of six bridges: I-81 Susquehanna, I-80 Nescopeck Creek, I-78 Lenhartsville, I-80 Lehigh River, I-80 Canoe Creek and I-80 North Fork. The work will also include related roads and supporting infrastructure, delivered under an availability-based P3 structure. Commercial close was reached between the developer and PennDOT in November 2022.

The financing included a mix of equity and debt. The project sponsors will contribute US$202 million in equity and have raised US$1.8 billion in private activity bonds.

Macquarie Capital and S&B USA Concessions will work collaboratively with PennDOT to develop the second package of the programme under a pre-development agreement, similar to the process undergone by the parties for the first package. 

“Taking a P3 approach to designing, building, financing and maintaining this essential infrastructure allows PennDOT to accelerate repair and construction on six bridges in critical need of replacement across the Commonwealth, which will have direct positive impact on Pennsylvania residents, businesses and the local economy, with the vast majority of the work being delivered by local Pennsylvania suppliers and contractors,” said Sarah Schick, head of P3 North America at Macquarie Capital.

“These bridges are essential pieces of Pennsylvania’s intra- and interstate transportation system,” said Sharon Novak, CEO of S&B USA. “The Major Bridge P3 Program is a great example of how the public and private sector can truly partner to deliver critical infrastructure projects faster and more efficiently than any other alternative procurement process. This procurement will also ensure that these bridges remain in good condition for many years, as it includes the maintenance of the assets for 35 years after construction.”

Companies in the BPP consortium include S&B USA Concessions, S&B USA Construction and subsidiary Joseph B Fay, Wagman, H&K Group, Kokosing, Michael Baker International, Alfred Benesch and Borton-Lawson.