Caltrans mulls PPP option for State Route 156 West Corridor Project

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Caltrans mulls PPP option for State Route 156 West Corridor Project

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) are considering the PPP option for the State Route 156 West Corridor Project.

The project would be developed on a design, build, finance, operation and maintenance (DBFOM) basis with the private operator collecting revenue from tolls.

Transportation Agency for Monterey County's (TAMC) and Caltrans staff will offer the board details on the proposal at a workshop set for 9 a.m. today Wednesday at the Agricultural Center conference room, 1428 Abbott St. in Salinas.

According to sources, the proposal would include that the preferred bidder would be selected by July next year. However, the final proposal would need to move forward by the end of 2016, before state legislation allowing public-private partnerships in the state is due to expire.

The preferred alternative route proposes to convert the existing 2-lane conventional highway to a 4-lane freeway from Castroville to the 101/156 interchange on US 101. The existing 101/156 interchange would be replaced by a more extensive interchange that would handle local traffic and interregional travel. A new interchange would be constructed at the intersection of the Castroville Boulevard and SR 156. Also, the existing 156 lanes would be converted to a frontage road that would serve the local community.

The total project investment is estimated at US$268 million and about US$44 million is currently programmed in the state budget. The funding gap is about US$220 million.

State Route 156 is a Focus Route and gateway for tourists traveling from the Bay Area to the Monterey Peninsula. On the weekends, SR 156 is heavily congested and there are safety concerns. This project proposes to convert the narrow two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane freeway.

In November last year we reported that Caltrans and TAMC were organizing an industry workshop to explore alternative project delivery methods for the project. The Industry outreach took place on December 17, 2013, at the Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940.

The industry outreach included one-on-one meetings between project sponsors and those organizations with track record in leading a team for projects of similar size, scale, and complexity as the SR 156 West Corridor Project.

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