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A public-private partnership (P3)project is a contractual agreement between a public entity and a private entity (or another public entity) in which the public entity transfers the responsibility for engineering, construction, operation, financing and/or maintenance of a transportation project or facility to the private sector for a defined period of time.

PennDOT operates one of the most ambitious and comprehensive P3  programs in the nation. These projects bring value to PA by significantly reducing structurally deficient bridges, supporting motorist safety, enhancing mass transit and rail service, and in some cases, generating new revenue to support future investment.

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In addition to cost savings, P3 projects have other advantages over traditional procurement such as:

  • Risk-sharing protecting project sponsors from the cost and consequences of negative events;

  • Accelerated project delivery compared to traditional public-sector project scheduling and delivery methods;

  • Improved quality and system performance from the use of innovative materials and management techniques that may result in higher initial quality to minimize long-term maintenance and operations costs;

  • Ability to apply special incentives to improve project performance and operating efficiencies;

  • A more optimal distribution of risks by allocating certain project risks to the private sector (e.g., financing, schedule, long-term operations and maintenance) and retaining others with the public agency (e.g., program management, environmental clearance, permitting and right-of-way acquisition);

  • Use of private financial resources and personnel;

  • Access to new sources of private capital, while leveraging scarce public resources and conserving public-sector debt capacity.


HATS will continue to identify potential P3 opportunities in the region and coordinate with PennDOT and other agencies on significant infrastructure projects administered through the P3 program.

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