A joint venture team of Bilfinger Berger BOT Inc., Parsons Transportation Group, VMS and DEPFA Bank has withdrawn from the procurement process for a design-build-finance-maintain contract to rebuild 800 of Missouri’s bridges, leaving three prequalified teams left to submit proposals for the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Plan.

Missouri Dept. of Transportation will select a team this summer to replace or improve more than 800 bridges by the end of 2012, then maintain them in good condition for a minimum of 25 years. It estimates the contract will entail some $600 million in design and construction.

The withdrawn team, Advanced Bridge Infrastructure Group, was unsuccessful in attracting a contractor with the ability and resources to tackle such an ambitious program, says Michael McGuinty, Bilfinger Berger BOT’s director of project development. “It’s the first of its kind out there,” he notes. “You have 800 projects — 800 start dates, 800 worksites, 800 design-build bridges.” Although much of the work would have been subbed out, a major contractor partner would need to self-perform much as well, in a design-build partnership with Parsons, he adds. “From a developer equity investor standpoint, it is unfortunate that we were not able to proceed.” He says the model itself is “very positive and will give MoDOT value for money.”

The remaining three bidders are Missouri Bridge Partners, led by Zachry American Infrastructure; United Contractors Inc.-led Team United; and Partnership Missouri, led by Australia’s Transfield Services and Macquarie Securities. “Having 3 bidders is actually the ideal number,” says McGuinty.