Walsh Infrastructure Management to take care of 558 bridges

Pennsylvania DOT awarded an $899 million contract to Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners to design, replace and maintain 558 bridges around the state for the next 25 years.

The contract – the biggest ever awarded by PennDOT – uses a public-private partnership (P3) approach to tackle the growing inventory of structurally deficient bridges. The project structure keeps the bridges under state ownership, but transfers the responsibility for their design, construction and 25-year upkeep to Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners.

AMOTIA member, Walsh Infrastructure Management (WIM), is the maintenance provider within the Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners consortium. WIM will be responsible for all bridge inspections, bridge washing activities, maintenance and rehabilitation from completion of each bridge for a period of 25 years.

This is a unique contract, and a first in the USA, where the bundling of a high number of replacement bridges has also included the maintenance of these structures for the first quarter of their service life.

An unusual and challenging aspect of this contract is to manage the logistics of maintaining these bridges that are scattered throughout the state of Pennsylvania. “The exciting aspect of this project is that the unique challenges offer opportunities for innovation,” said Scott Adam, President of Walsh Infrastructure Management. The contract requires our team to be responsive not just throughout the entire state, but also through the four distinct seasons experienced in Pennsylvania that impact the bridges in different ways. “The more we look at these challenges, the more ideas the team has in how to successfully and innovatively deliver this contract and the services required.”

The bridges will be progressively handed over to WIM commencing in August 2015 with the final bridge scheduled to be handed over in December 2017.