Press Release

With Help from Ballard Spahr, Innovative PennDOT P3 Approach to Replacing Aging Bridges Moves Forward

December 23, 2022

Ballard Spahr represented the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in the closing and financing of the first bridge “package” of its Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3). The first package consists of six major interstate bridge projects across the Commonwealth.

By delivering these projects through the public-private partnership (P3) approach, these major bridges will be delivered earlier and without near-term programmed impact on PennDOT’s budget, freeing up funds for other critical projects. PennDOT will repay the amounts financed by the development entity with recurring payments over 35 years.

These “major bridges” are structures of significance based on location, physical size, and cost to replace or rehabilitate, according to PennDOT. None of the six bridges in the first package are unsafe, but nevertheless, these bridges are in a condition that warrants timely attention to enhance safety and to avoid disruptions if closure or weight restriction were imposed. The six bridges to be designed, built, financed, and maintained are I-81 Susquehanna, I-80 Nescopeck Creek, I-78 Lenhartsville, I-80 Lehigh River, I-80 Canoe Creek, and I-80 North Fork, as well as their related roadways and supporting infrastructure.

Steve T. Park in Philadelphia and John P. Smolen in Baltimore, partners in the firm’s national Finance Department and co-leaders of its P3/Infrastructure Group, led the Ballard Spahr team that represented PennDOT. Other team members included William Estes in New York, John C. Wheatley in Washington, D.C., and Donna Brady, Michael A. Charlebois, and Racquel A. Muindi in Los Angeles.

For media inquiries, please contact Will Ashenmacher at 612.37.5792.

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