STATEMENT: Speaker Mattiello’s Deliberative Process on Tolls Did Not Include the P3 Delivery Concept

October 20, 2015

Speaker’s Support of Tolls Fails to Consider Lower-Cost P3 Delivery Model
State can still enjoy benefits of jobs and economic development at lower cost and risk

Providence, RI — No response or curiosity was expressed by the Speaker’s office after it received an advanced copy of the P3 policy paper released last week by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity that could deliver the Governor’s ambitious bridge and road upgrade project in a safer, timelier, and less costly manner, and with less debt and risk under a proven model that has been successfully deployed in many other states.

“The Speaker indicated on the radio today that he conducted a deliberative process before agreeing to accept some version of the Governor’s toll scheme,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. That deliberative process apparently did not include consideration of the potentially significant alternative that the Center put forth. “Our Center maintains, that if the Speaker’s and the Governor’s policy teams were to honestly evaluate the benefits of a P3 delivery model, that the significantly lower funding requirements would likely preclude the perceived need for establishing a costly new tolling infrastructure.”

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.

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 and become a viable alternative to certain aspects of the Governor’s plan that ‘s now on the table.

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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