The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has issued an RFQ for an advisor to provide preconstruction engineering services on a transit project that could move forward as a P3.
Responses are due on 27 September.
The advisor will advise on the Zion area transit from St. George to Springdale project. UDOT is looking at instituting a transit system that will help alleviate traffic congestion due to the increased number of visitors to Zion National Park, according to UDOT program manager Kayde Roberts.
The mass transit system will most likely consist of buses, and could advance as a bus rapid transit system, Roberts said.
The consultant will help produce an RFP, and be able to model and assess optional transit scenarios, according to the RFQ. The consultant will also advise in creating a governing body for the transit system, provide transit design, and provide P3 contracts as needed, according to the document.
The state has contributed USD 15m to the project, Roberts said, but the project will require more funding to advance, which could possibly be provided by a private partner, Roberts said.
UDOT is targeting 11 October to choose the consultant, and will then enter into negotiations on a contract on 15 October. The negotiations are anticipated to last about a week, Roberts said.
He declined to provide an estimated cost for the project, saying that if UDOT pursues a P3, profit for the private partner will have to be factored into the project’s final cost, Roberts said.
If the state decides to pursue a P3, it will be UDOT’s first, and the agency will closely monitor this project to establish rules for future P3 procurements, Roberts said.
UDOT established a Planning and Investment division in the spring, and the agency is exploring innovative financing methods, including road usage charges, tolling and P3s for both highway and transit projects, according to an agency spokesperson. UDOT now has dedicated staff to receive P3 proposals and to respond to inquiries concerning P3s, the spokesperson said.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed P3 legislation into law in March, 2017. The legislation, SB 2014, amended Utah’s procurement code to include P3s, as Inframation reported.