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VDOT Issues RFP For Elizabeth River Tunnels

December 09, 2004

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has issued a “Request for Proposals” (RFP) from the private sector to provide the traffic control functions at the Elizabeth River Tunnels. The tunnels will remain under an overall VDOT management structure if a contract is awarded.

This RFP will help VDOT study the financial impacts and possible logistical improvements that could be made at the Elizabeth River Tunnels under a private contract for operations.

The following operations elements for the Downtown Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel and Berkley Bridge are included in the RFP:

Tunnel Traffic Management and Systems Operations

Incident Detection / Clearance / Management

Vehicle Safety Inspection

Facility Security

Safety Service Patrol and Motorist Assist

VDOT currently employs approximately 120 personnel at the Elizabeth River Tunnels in a variety of maintenance, management, and traffic control positions.

“We want to do what makes sense for the tunnels and for our business,” said VDOT Hampton Roads District Administrator Dennis Heuer. “This is an opportunity to apply the successful public-private partnership we have at the Smart Traffic Center to our transportation mission, focus our resources, and help create a better VDOT. We think that contracting these services will help improve our overall transportation program in Hampton Roads.”

Measurable performance standards identified in the Elizabeth River Tunnels RFP include elements of project administration, control room operations, and field operations. The contract will be modeled on successful operations where a private contractor under VDOT management operated the HOV/Reversible Roadway beginning in 1992 and subsequently has been responsible for operating the Smart Traffic Center of Hampton Roads since 1995.

Proposals are due by February 4, 2005. All proposals will be evaluated, and the final decision to award a contract will be based on the quality and cost of the proposals received. If a contractor is chosen from the submitted proposals, an initial three-year contract will be awarded by late spring 2005, with options to renew the contract in two-year increments for a maximum length of seven years.

For more information:
The “Request for Proposals” is posted on www.VirginiaDOT.org.

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