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Development & Transportation

Transportation Partnership Board to Look at Proposals in Fall

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the Public Private Partnerships (P3) for Transportation Act in 2012, which gives PennDOT and other transportation agencies a chance to partner with the private sector to improve services or create new projects. Now two proposals are ready for approval from the P3 board.

“We recently had a period where we solicited ideas from the private sector, and we received six ideas and two of them will be admitted to the P3 board this fall,” PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trassatt said.

The first submission is from Paoli-based Site Acquisition Services Inc. which proposes attaching wireless antennas and related equipment to PennDOT-owned property such as bridges and billboards.

The proposal suggested that PennDOT rent those sights to wireless service providers who could use them to improve signals in the surrounding areas.

“As we’re seeing increased demand for wireless usage and data usage, especially with increased smart phones and tablets and lots of other technologies, there is a higher demand for wireless and data,” Waters-Trassatt said.

Waters-Trassatt said PennDOT is able to allow some of those antennas on their property now, but this proposal would give them a market value and someone to identify areas that would be beneficial to rent.

She said the revenues from the rent would go toward transportation purposes.

The second proposal, from Bentley Systems Inc., calls for PennDOT to replace the aging software it uses for permitting.

If the P3 board approves the projects in September, PennDOT will go out to the private sectors with requests for proposals and look at individual proposals from interested companies. 

PennDOT suggested detailed studies on two other proposals — one to install a high-speed wireless network along 200 miles of navigable waterways and the other to construct a new Capital Area Transit maintenance facility.

“The proposals as they came in didn’t have quite all the information that was needed or research that would have been needed for a full approval so the people involved with those will need to get a little more information to PennDOT at this time,” Waters-Trassatt said.