Last updated: July 24. 2013 12:49PM - 667 Views
Ralph B. Davis
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Ohio Department Of Transportation officials have confirmed the Portsmouth Bypass has been delayed and will not go out to bid until next year.

“There is a delay in the sale,” said Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 spokeswoman. “It’s potentially a very good thing.”

She said ODOT is seeking a public/private partnership (P3) for the bypass. Public-private partnerships will allow ODOT to work with the private sector in developing new and innovative ways to develop, finance, maintain or operate a transportation facility.”

Fuller said that for the project to be considered by the public/private partnership program it has to be sold as one project and not in phases. She said there is no time frame attached to the public/private partnership process.

“We are not selling the project this fiscal year (which ends June 30). If everything goes through with the P3 and we do not get a public/private partnership for the job we will sell it next year,” Fuller said.

Phase one of the construction will be from Shumway Hollow Road to Lucasville Minford Road and is slated to cost an estimated $83 million with a time frame of three years to complete.

Phase two of the construction has a five-year time frame for completion. Construction is set to begin at Lucasville Minford Road to U.S. 23 and is expected to cost an estimated $242 million.

Phase three is estimated to begin construction in 2017. Construction is slated for Shumway Hollow Road to U.S. 52. This phase is expected to cost $281 million.

The construction cost is an estimated $405 million. The grand total project cost is roughly estimated at more than $650 million.

Recently, ODOTs Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) came out with a list of the state’s largest construction projects and how they will be funded. On the list was the Portsmouth Bypass with $75 million taken away from the project.

“Originally $75 million was to be allocated for phase one of the Portsmouth Bypass. ODOT is hoping to seek a public/private partnership for this project. We do not know exactly what that would look like at this time,” ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner said. “We are looking into the options of seeking a public/private partnership that would allow all three phases to begin construction at the same time. Rather than beginning one phase, finishing and starting another.”

“This does not mean we are stopping the project, we are moving forward with a lot of different parts of the project while we explore this P3 partnership,” Fuller said.

For more information about the bypass, visit www.portsmouthbypass.com or call 888-819-8501, ext. 774-8834.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.

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