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March 13, 2019
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Back the LAs

The industry has been called upon to do more to support P3 champions in the public sector; Louisiana and Los Angeles would be good places to start.
Back the LAs

Former advisor to the US government Jim Ray has called on the industry to rise to the challenge of supporting public sector proponents of the P3 model, where they operate, or the upward trajectory of the P3 model will not materialize as it could. 

Ray told P3 Bulletin the industry needs to be willing to do more to advocate for, promote and support the model and they need to “do it when it counts”.

“In projects that have gone badly either the sitting or former political champions of those projects feel as though they were abandoned and did not have the resources to fight the fight and they are now telling all of their peers that one of the reasons they may have lost an election or had considerable problems was because of P3.

“So I think if we need someone to be able to crawl out on that limb and do something innovative, put their poll numbers or career at risk, we also as an industry need to be prepared to come to their need when they have it.

“We owe these champions the idea that they won’t be alone when they are under attack for trying something.

“There is a disconnect there that the broader industry needs to think about helping with, otherwise I think it is unfair to expect these guys to go put their careers at risk. Like Shawn Wilson in Louisiana. 

“We have to tell the Shawn Wilsons of this world that people will be there to help him if that moment arises and he needs it.”

Wilson, secretary of Louisiana’s DOTD, spent Mardi Gras in Texas instead of New Orleans conveying to the industry his department’s extensive P3 program.

Wilson confirmed to P3 Bulletin the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement is in the final stages of P3 procurement, with proposals scheduled to be submitted in the second quarter of 2019. The DOTD anticipates concluding the process early in the third quarter of 2019.

In addition there are three additional projects the department has identified as being ideal for the P3 delivery model. Each project is unique and at various stages of development which Wilson believes will better position them for P3 procurement and allow the state to maximize limited resources.  

The three projects are:

•    Interstate P3 Delivery - Interstate 10 bridge replacement in Calcasieu Parish;

•    Urban P3 Delivery - New Bridge crossing the Mississippi River Bridge;

•    Rural P3 Delivery - LA 3241 corridor connecting I-12 to Bush

Meanwhile, the other ‘LA’ , Los Angeles, continues to build its status as the benchmark for the P3 market as staff across departments and agencies continue efforts to consider innovative delivery methods for all sorts of challenges, backed by an increasingly impressive pool of advisors.

These efforts are underpinned by a champion of the P3 model at the top, Mayor Eric Garcetti. A previous winner of the P3 Awards Best Individual Contribution prize, Garcetti continues to make the case for P3 at crucial junctures including during a mammoth grilling by Congressmen last month.

However, as the bills for various studies and projects continue to mount on Garcetti’s or Governor John Bel Edward’s desks, the time for the industry to think about cocktails on Bourbon Street or a stroll down Santa Monica Pier is now.

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The industry has been called upon to do more to support P3 champions in the public sector; Louisiana and Los Angeles would be good places to start.

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