The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has finalized all terms for the department's $899 million Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, Secretary Barry Schoch confirmed.

That clears the way for construction to begin this summer on the project to replace 558 bridges statewide, Schoch said Jan. 12.

In October, PennDOT selected Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners and its team of 11 Pennsylvania-based subcontractors to lead the project.

The team will manage the bridges' design, construction and maintenance for 25 years after construction under the public-private partnership contract. It will also be responsible for securing the capital necessary for construction, set to begin this summer. All 558 bridges must be replaced within 36 months.

PennDOT will maintain ownership of the bridges.

The average project cost per bridge for design, construction and maintenance is $1.6 million. Through PennDOT's standard process, the cost to design, construct and maintain a bridge for 28 years, which includes construction period and 25 years maintenance) would average more than $2 million, Schoch noted.

The Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board approved the initiative in September 2013.

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