The Arizona Department of Transportation, in close collaboration with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Arizona Division of the Federal Highway Administration, has selected the project delivery approach that will be used to construct the South Mountain Freeway in the event that the Final Environmental Impact Statement indicates a preferred alternative rather than the no-build option. The South Mountain Freeway will be procured as a single project using a public-private partnership approach. The Design-Build-Maintain delivery mechanism will include a long-term maintenance component but will not include a private finance option.
This decision was made after more than a year’s worth of analysis following the submission of an unsolicited proposal. The submission provided an opportunity for ADOT to explore several ways of delivering the project in the event the federal environmental impact process recommends a preferred alternative. This extensive analysis considered a traditional design-bid-build approach, several design-build options, and public-private partnership (P3) alternatives including those with maintenance options, private finance options, or both. Using a Value for Money approach, ADOT and its partner agencies determined which approach would provide the best value for Arizona taxpayers, which would allow the agency to mitigate risk most effectively, and which would provide the most efficient delivery option.
Nothing in this selection impacts the Final Environmental Impact Statement. No further procurement activities will move forward until the Final Environmental Impact Statement is released in mid to late September. Following the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, if it recommends a build alternative, ADOT will release a Request for Qualifications. This will serve to notify the industry of the qualifications that ADOT and its partners are seeking in potential bidders. Responders will have approximately six weeks to submit their required qualifications and will be notified approximately four weeks later of those firms or consortia of firms that are selected for the short list of potential bidders.