Public-Private Partnerships In Maryland
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, which was signed into law 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. The Maryland Transportation Authority also amended and adopted new regulations (COMAR 11.07.06 - Public-Private Partnership Program) in October 2015 to clarify the process of public-private partnerships (describe and provide a process for the development, solicitation, evaluation, award, and delivery of public-private partnerships in the MDTA's Program) pursuant to House Bill 560.
MDOT has successfully completed two P3 projects and a third is underway:
Seagirt Marine Terminal: The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, LLC entered into a unique P3 agreement 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 two 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 and the Chesapeake House Travel Plaza in Cecil County are both open for business. 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 575 facility jobs. You can find more information on the Travel Plazas here.
Purple Line Light Rail Project: The Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project (the Purple Line) is a 16.2-mile, 21-Station, east-west, light rail transit (LRT) Transitway that will extend from its western terminus just west of Wisconsin Avenue and the Bethesda Metro Station in Montgomery County to its eastern terminus at the New Carrollton Metro Station in Prince George's County, located just inside the I-495/Capital Beltway in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) have selected Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) as the concessionaire to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the Purple Line over a 36 year term. The Maryland Board of Public Works approved the P3 contract for the Purple Line on April 6, 2016. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016 with passenger service open in early 2022.