Penn Turnpike Fiber Optic P3 cancelled in favor of DB

21 December 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced 21 December it has ended the procurement for a fiber optic network public-private partnership (P3).

The commission said it will instead advance other options to address the agency’s data and communication needs.
PA Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said in the announcement the project is being cancelled because it will not deliver the previously-assumed cost savings. Instead of the DBFOM Model, the authority said it will use a Design-Build model to construct a new fiber-optic network east of Harrisburg.
Advertisements for the DB projects will be publicly advertised and procured.
This decision comes just 10 days after three of four shortlisted teams responded to a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the commission. The teams, listed below, each issued formal proposals in response to the RFP, and though they demonstrated the network could generate commercial revenue they were not deemed responsive, according to the announcement.
  • Keystone Broadband Partners – AECOM Capital, eX2 Technology, John Laing, Tishman Construction
  • Keystone Broadband Partners –  Star America, Zayo Group, Black & Veatch, BVH, Henkels & McCoy, Overland Contracting
  • Plenary Broadband Infrastructure – Plenary (North America), Quanta Services Inc. WideOpen Networks
As reported, The project was launched in 2016 and sought a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain broadband infrastructure over a 30-year period. The project was going to support the expansion of cashless toll collections, as well as provide connectivity for the agency’s administrative buildings, maintenance sheds, tolling systems, traffic cameras and dynamic message signs.
The commission said in the cancellation announcement in the new year it will address further communications needs by utilizing a combination of leased lines and the existing microwave network west of Harrisburg.
Compton said the commission remains “committed to developing a state-of-the-art network,” but emphasized that the P3 model did not meet the state’s financial needs.
The project had already experienced multiple delays, with the date for preferred proponent selection initially scheduled for end of summer 2018 before being pushed off to October, and now again to January 2019.