MEDIA RELEASE: P3 Delivery Model Bypasses RI DOT to Conduct Infrastructure Upgrades

October 16, 2015

P3 Delivery Model for Infrastructure Upgrades Has Multiple Benefits for Rhode Islanders
Private Sector Partner Would Deliver Governor’s Project Goals More Efficiently than RI DOT

Providence, RI — The Governor’s ambitious bridge and road upgrade project can be delivered in a safer, timelier, and less costly manner, and with less debt and risk under a public-private-partnership model; similar “P3” models have been successfully deployed in many other states, according to a new policy paper released today by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

Under a P3 delivery model, a private sector partner who wins an open bidding process, would self-finance and deliver all specified construction upgrades and maintenance services in exchange for a guaranteed revenue flow from the state over a defined period of time.

“To execute this vital infrastructure project, we have great concerns about the wasteful spending, insider politics, and other inefficiencies if we continue to follow the status quo process by handing-over half-a-billion dollars or more to the troubled RI Department of Transportation,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Other states have greatly benefited from similar P3 arrangements, and we trust that Rhode Island’s political leaders will show enough intellectual curiosity to want to know more about how taxpayers might bear less of a burden in completing this important public works project.”

Former state budget director, Gary Sasse, concurred, saying “lawmakers should remember that Rhode Island’s transportation funding crisis evolved primarily from debt-driven financing practices. In order to serve the best interests of Rhode Island taxpayers and drivers, the General Assembly should take the time to fully evaluate this P3 model and all other options, with no stone left unturned.” Sasse’s full statement can be viewed here.

Combined with a PayGo funding approach, and based on a case study for a similar bridge repair project in Pennsylvania, Ocean State drivers and taxpayers could potentially realize significant benefits, including:

  • Elimination of the risk of Rhode Islanders bearing the burden potential cost overruns by transferring 100% of such risk to the private sector partner
  • Elimination of the need and related costs to impose tolls on truckers or any other RI driver
    Delivery of the necessary upgrades in a timelier and safer manner
  • Up to $165 million, or a 33% savings in base program costs, derived from private sector efficiencies in innovation, execution, and procurement
  • Up to $67 million, or a 20% savings in program costs, via exemptions from costly state laws mandating Project Labor Agreements and prevailing wages
  • Savings of $43 million in gantry substructure costs
  • Up to $286 million in financing cost savings due to lower bond face-value from lower program costs

The Center urges lawmakers to conduct the due diligence necessary in the coming months to properly evaluate whether or not the P3 model can deliver some or all of the above potential benefits.

The full report and other related information can be found on the Center’s P3 homepage at

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
401.429.6115 |

About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise research and advocacy organization. The mission of the 501-C-3 nonprofit organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.

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