Stop CANAMEX, Stop the Intermountain West Corridor and I-11! Stop the Sun Corridor! Stop the 202!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Loop 202 Public-Private Partnership Rejected but Another P3 a possibility

For an updated exploration on the topics herein and on the public-private partnership for the South Mountain Freeway, see "Freeway Could Take a Toll on Arizona" posted February 2016. 

The South Mountain Freeway Loop 202 extension public-private partnership (P3) that had been announced last July has apparently been rejected. In the transcribed minutes of the January 17, 2014 Arizona State Transportation Board Meeting, Gail Lewis, the director of the ADOT Office of P3 Initiatives and International Affairs, stated that the proposal included a pre-development agreement which was determined not to work for the Loop 202 because it was too far along in the process.

The plan is still in place to seek out a P3 as a funding alternative for the project. ADOT will likely put out a Request for Proposals (RFP), after which the proposals would be solicited, as opposed to unsolicited as was the last one. Lewis stated,
"The RFP would not be done until after the release of the final [Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)] in July, and although we may put out a request for proposals prior to the Record of Decision in October, we would not ask for those proposals to be returned to the agency until after the ROD had been delivered. That would give respondents an opportunity to take all of the findings in the ROD into account when they deliver a proposal, and it would also guarantee that we're not in any way deciding on the outcome of the ROD report; it's actually delivered."

The transcription of the discussion on Loop 202 or "South Mountain Corridor" starts on page 83 of the Agenda for the upcoming April 11 meeting in Marana, AZ.

The timing of the EIS, as well as that of the ROD, which comes from the federal government, are estimates. In addition, it was acknowledged that the EIS would likely be challenged.  

An industry forum and P3 briefing was held as part of a request for information on February 27, 2014. The presentation document did not clearly indicate that the unsolicited proposal had been rejected. It had been certain from the start that other proposals would be sought and this was a continuation of that process.

It was clear, however, from that presentation, that the concerns presented in "Companies seek partnership with ADOT to profit on freeway, Part 2: The Methods" were on the mark and are still relevant. Page twenty shows that they prepared a Draft TIFIA Letter of Interest, and on the following page, they list availability payments as an option for funding.

The unsolicited proposal was submitted in February 2013 by the South Mountain Development Group. The proposal was technically unsolicited but red flags were raised by the longstanding relationships between public (such as ADOT) and private interests, and their pro-P3 organizations, as explored in "Companies seek partnership with ADOT to profit on freeway, Part1: The Networks". Most of the concerns laid out in that two-part article remain largely the same, aside from the fact that the specific companies such as Sundt and Kiewit may not be the ones involved in a future P3. Representatives of these companies and several others attended the Industry Forum in February. A list of attendees can be seen here. This list includes representatives of AECOM, a large company who has interest and involvement in P3s and the Sun Corridor.

See updates on the Loop 202 here.