In his acceptance message as President of the ARTBA P3 Division for 2016/17, Steve Dewitt astutely noted that education related to the benefits and value of P3s is paramount to the continued growth of the Transportation sector. Toward that same purpose, I thought it would be beneficial to share some findings developed by Jackie Cromwell and Spencer Townsend from the Virginia Office of Public Private Partnerships (VAP3) related to distribution of work (contract) on several P3 projects in Virginia.
Many critics of P3s have said that local and regional contractors are negatively impacted by large-scale P3 projects when foreign companies come to the U.S. and win these projects to the detriment of small-to-medium-size contractors.
In their study, VAP3 reviewed the total number of subcontractors participating in three large-scale P3 projects in two key growth areas of Virginia. They were the 495 Express Lanes and 95 Express Lanes (both in Northern Virginia), and the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) in Hampton Roads. The focus of the study identified three key data points, using both VDOT and concessionaire records: