|Construction Company:||Bridging Pennsylvania Constructors—S&B USA Construction and FCC|
|Project Status:||Financially closed on December 22, 2022—construction is set to begin in September 2023 and is expected to be completed between by the summer of 2028|
S&B USA Concessions is part of Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP), a group that formed as a response to the PennDOT Pathways Program, which is designed to bolster PennDOT’s ongoing effort to address the state’s growing backlog of replacement and rehabilitation needs for major bridges that are approaching the end of their lifespan. This project consists of designing, building, financing, and maintaining nine bridges in critical need of replacement across the Commonwealth. The work will be split into two stages—the first of which recently reached a financial close of nearly $1.5 billion. This project will have a direct positive impact on PA residents, businesses and the local economy.
This P3 utilized a Project Development Agreement (PDA), a collaborative approach between the developer and the grantor. The developers (S&B USA Concessions and Macquarie) were chosen on a number of factors, such as experience, rather than a competitive bid. Additionally, the use of a PDA helps to eliminate issues such as delays and unforeseen construction issues. The developer will also operate and maintain these assets for a period of 35 years.
In order to finance a project of this magnitude, PennDOT chose to take a P3 approach, which allowed them to accelerate the repair and construction of these six bridges in critical need of replacement despite their dwindling resources in the face of growing needs. Much of the funding for this project will come from private activity bonds (PABs)—this project was the largest private activity bond (PAB) project in the United States to date, and it priced above par! In addition to the PABs, the project is also financed with equity in the form of mobilization and milestone payments and fixed interest earnings. S&B Concessions owns a 40% share.
The first package will focus on six of the nine bridges: I-80 Canoe Creek, I-80 North Fork, I-78 Lenhartsville, I-80 Nescopeck Creek, I-80 over Lehigh River and I-81 Susquehanna. We expect to start breaking ground on the first bridge by the upcoming fall, and the construction phase should be completed by the summer of 2028. With decades of successful delivery on PennDOT projects, Fay—a member of the S&B USA family—will be acting as one of the local construction subcontractors on this project. The schedule for the remaining three bridges (I-83 South, I-95 Girard Point and the I-79 Bridgeville) has yet to be determined.