SAN FRANCISCO — State and local transportation agencies have penciled in the winning bid to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Presidio Parkway Project, California’s first public-private partnership.
The California Department of Transportation and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority released a notice of intent to award the contract to Golden Link Partners, whose proposal pitched $28.5 million as the target-availability payment. The two other final bidders were Golden Gate Access Group and Royal Presidio SF Partners.
The selected final agreement, which includes the financing proposal, will be posted no later than Wednesday. CalTrans and the SFCTA will hold a public hearing on Thursday about the project agreement.
The new parkway project will replace a 1.5-mile portion of U.S. Highway 101, known as Doyle Drive, with a new six-lane roadway linking San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The existing roadway — which is 73 years old — handles 120,000 trips per day, does not meet structural standards and regularly faces snarled traffic.
Michael Bowman, a spokesman for the state’s Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, which oversees CalTrans, said the winning proposal still needs to be vetted through public comment and submitted to the state Legislature and the Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission for review. But he said no other approvals are needed.
Bowman said the final close on the commercial proposal should come before the end of year and the financial side of it should close in 2011.
The Presidio project will be the first project financed under legislation approved by state lawmakers in 2009, with the governor’s strong support, to push for greater use of public-private partnership financing.
The project recently received a $1.1 billion boost from the state budget. That allocation will be paid out over the 30 years of the contract and will cover the milestone and availability payments to the selected bidder. The lump sum ensures project completion will not be dependent upon future allocations.
Availability payments are a way of paying a private enterprise for designing, building, operating and maintaining a roadway for a set period. The payments are normally based on meeting set standards, such as deadlines and performance measures.
The state’s procurement guidelines call for the chosen bidder to be paid a $173 million milestone payment at the end of construction, with availability payments that CalTrans projects between $1.13 billion and $1.38 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars over 30 years.
SFCTA officials have said the public-private partnership procurement is meant to off-load the risk of cost overruns and ensure proper maintenance of the facility over time.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has already provided $128 million in stimulus funds to the Presidio Parkway, which it described as one of the nation’s largest, most complex and labor-intensive highway projects.
Twelve different funding sources — including federal, state, and local government monies — will finance the project. The SFCTA has asked the U.S. DOT to make available $592 million of private-activity bond authority for it.
The parkway has two major phases. The first one, which is underway, will upgrade the road to meet earthquake-safety standards by late October 2011. The second phase will complete major construction and finish the project by spring 2014.
The new road will snake through the Presidio, a national park.
The project will also improve the environment and enhance pedestrian and bicycle access at the park.