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Pennsylvania Launches 'Rapid Bridge Project' to Rebuild 558 Bridges in Three Years

Faced with more than 4,000 structurally deficient bridges, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has an innovative repair plan.
November 15, 2015, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Ed Blazina reports on a state-of-the art program in Pennsylvania to rebuild structurally deficient bridges in the state.

The Rapid Bridge Project, is the first of its kind in the United States, reports Blazina. The program is "a public-private partnership between the state and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners to replace 558 bridges over a three-year period. The first 52 bridges will be completed by the end of the year, including eight in Allegheny County."

The private side of this public-private partnership will be filled by Plenary Walsh, which is "responsible for the design, construction and 25-year maintenance of the bridges." Under the $899 million contract, "Plenary Walsh provides the upfront funding for the bridges and will be paid in six installments as it meets certain benchmarks along the way."

Blazina notes that the program is modeled on similar programs in Europe. Missouri used a similar program a few years ago to replace 554 bridges, but the state paid up front in that example.

The article includes more detail on the political and engineering groundwork that made the Rapid Bridge Project possible.

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Published on Monday, November 9, 2015 in Pittsburg Post-Gazette
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