HDR Expert Shares How to Make the Most of P3s for Transportation Infrastructure

Gail Lewis
Gail Lewis

Many transportation agencies are exploring the possibilities of public-private partnerships and discovering more situations where it makes sense. And though the approach can be complex, the reasons are simple: effective project delivery, in a way that reduces risk and delivers results at a reasonable cost.

Gail Lewis, a principal consultant in HDR’s advisory services group, discussed the latest trends in P3 projects in the latest installment of HDR’s Experts Talk interview series. She addressed progressive P3s, shared how to leverage innovation and how to get the most value from transportation infrastructure P3s.

“The challenge is not to ask, ‘P3 or not?’ she said. “The challenge is to think about the best value approach to a project.”

Before joining HDR, Lewis spent nearly 30 years in Arizona government where she started, developed and led all phases of the successful P3 program for the Arizona Department of Transportation. In her interview, she observed how and where P3s are developing and described newer forms of P3 structure, such as progressive P3s. Not every project should be structured as a P3, and she noted that the approach works best for complex programs or bundles of projects. But she pointed out that P3s can be used successfully for many different projects.

“Many of the early U.S. P3 projects were toll roads, and the perception remains that P3s and toll roads are almost synonymous,” she said. “But P3s go far beyond toll roads. Arizona delivered a building via P3. Toronto's Ontario Line subway is a P3. Los Angeles International Airport's new automated people mover is a P3.”

Read the whole Leveraging Innovation in Infrastructure P3s interview.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

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