Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Commonwealth Transportation Board has passed a resolution to increase transparency and competition and to better evaluate the public’s risk for projects delivered under public-private partnerships.

“I have asked Secretary Layne to work with the CTB to evaluate the state’s approach to public-private partnerships to ensure that we are giving Virginians the maximum return on their investment in those projects” said McAuliffe. “P3’s are a great tool for accomplishing projects that would not otherwise get done, but only when they are negotiated to put Virginians’ best interests first.”

This resolution comes as McAuliffe halted plans to build a parallel route to U.S. 460, a project that has consumed $300 million, without securing required environmental permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, according to the Richmond Time Dispatch.

Public-private partnership projects in Virginia are set up by the state’s Office of Transportation Public Private Partnerships, known as OTP3. 

The CTB’s resolution calls for the following:

  • The OTP3 will strengthen the transparency of the entire public private transportation project development and delivery, including increasing opportunities for public participation and direct involvement by the CTB in project development.
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation commissioner will improve ways to better assess risk with PPTA and design-build projects. The objective is to identify, minimize and limit the risks to VDOT and the public by highlighting “high risk” projects.
  • Recommendations to implement the reforms will be presented during the CTB by October 2014.

“While PPTA contracts have made some critical highway projects possible by bringing in private sector equity and innovation, the process needs to be improved to ensure it is used for the right projects and risks are appropriately evaluated and minimized for the public,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne.