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The proposed I-4 Ultimate project, estimated at $2.1 billion, will remake 21 miles of Interstate 4 through Orange and Seminole counties. (Image courtesy RS&H)

UPDATE, 6/6: After holding a second shortlisting meeting on June, the Florida Dept. of Transportation has announced the official list of four firms that will be considered to lead its estimated $2.1-billion Interstate 4 Ultimate project in Orlando. The four groups announced June 5 were the same that were unofficially named at an earlier, May 21 meeting: 4wardPartners; I-4 Development Partners LLC; I-4 Mobility Partners; and Ultimate Mobility Partners. (Composition of teams listed below.)

According to FDOT's June 5 press statement, the teams will submit their proposals in early 2014, with a final selection scheduled for next spring.

UPDATE, 5/23: Here's some additional detail about the request for recording the event, which was not accommodated by FDOT, and thus became the basis for the second shortlisting meeting. According to Steve Olson, FDOT's public information manager for District 5, a representative of one of the proposers—he wouldn't name which—asked before the meeting started if the event could be recorded. The agency did not accommodate that request. After the meeting, the FDOT group became aware of the unaccommodated request, and then looked into the ramifications. Olson said they realized that it was a technical violation of Florida's Sunshine Law, and ultimately decided to hold a second shortlisting meeting—at which time the process should become official.

Original 5/22 post: Florida's next big public-private partnership project, the planned $2.1-billion reconstruction of Orlando's Interstate 4—dubbed the "I-4 Ultimate" project—appeared to have moved one big step toward reality recently, with the Orlando Sentinel reporting the results from a shortlisting meeting held May 21.

But before the Florida Dept. of Transportation could make it officially official, there was a problem. In a press release issued May 22, FDOT noted that because the agency did not accommodate a request to record the meeting, "no effective decision resulted from the May 21 meeting." As a result, the state scheduled another shortlist meeting for June 5, where "the Project Selection Committee will make all shortlist decisions regarding the I-4 Ultimate Project," the agency states.

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This ranking of proposers was shown at the May 21 shortlisting meeting. However, no results will be official until the second meeting, scheduled for June 5, FDOT says. The proposers were scored on a weighted scale of five criteria: financial qualifications and capacity, 45%; technical qualifications and capability, 45%; statement of financial approach, 5%; statement of technical approach, 2.5%; and statement of approach to subcontracting/subconsulting, 2.5%. (Photo courtesy FDOT)

According to the Sentinel's initial report of the May 21 meeting, the selection committee favored the four firms listed below. (Team members listed according to FDOT's project website.)

  • 4wardPartners - Equity members include VINCI Concessions S.A.S., Meridiam Infrastructure I-4 Ultimate LLC, and Walsh Investors LLC. A joint venture of Archer Western Contractors, Hubbard Construction Co., and The de Moya Group is the lead contractor, with AECOM Technical Services the lead engineer.
  • I-4 Development Partners LLC - Equity members: Macquarie Capital Group Ltd., OHL Concesiones S.A., and FCC Construccion S.A. The lead contractor is made up of a team that includes Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A.; Community Asphalt Corp.; and FCC Construccion S.A. HNTB Corp. is the lead engineer.
  • I-4 Mobility Partners - Skanska Infrastructure Development and John Laing Investments Ltd. are the equity members. The lead contractor is a joint venture of Skanska USA Civil Southeast, Granite Construction Co. and The Lane Construction Corp. HDR Engineering and Jacobs Engineering Group have joint ventured as the lead engineer.
  • Ultimate Mobility Partners - InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd., Fluor Enterprises and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. are the equity members, with Fluor and Kiewit also combining as lead contractor. A joint venture of Parsons Transportation Group and Atkins North America is the lead engineer.
Unofficially, that seemingly left the groups listed below out of the running. But because nothing's official yet, and since the committee will "make all shortlist decisions" on June 5, technically speaking, at least, these three groups still have a chance.
  • I-4 Ultimate Mobility Partners - Cintra Infraestructuras, S.A., is the lead equity member here, with the lead contractor made up by a joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman S.A., and MCM. A joint venture of The Louis Berger Group and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam would lead the engineering.
  • I-4 Ultimate Expressway Partners - There are four equity members here: Odebrecht Roadway Investments Corp.; Samsung E&C America; Bilfinger Project Investments International Holding GmbH; and Balfour Beatty Investments. Odebrecht Construction, Zachry Construction Corp. and Samsung E&C America make up the lead contracting team, with Parsons Brinckerhoff as the lead engineer.
  • 4ward Express ProposerCo LLC - Three equity members for this group: ACS Infrastructure Development, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and Shikun & Binui Ltd. A joint venture of Dragados USA and Shikun & Binui make up the contracting team. And a joint venture of H.W. Lochner and MMM Group Ltd. would be the lead engineer.

FDOT officials say the agency plans to make its final selection by March 2014, with construction scheduled to commence by next fall. According to FDOT, the project will include the reconstruction of 15 interchanges, 56 new bridges, another 68 bridge replacements, as well as the addition of four managed express lanes.

Additionally, FDOT only has about $1 billion of the project's $2.1-billion total cost. So it is asking local governments in Orange and Seminole counties to secure up to $1.5 billion in bonds that could be used by the firm chosen to build the project, the Sentinel reported, with tolls from the new managed lanes used to pay off the debt. According to the paper, this same approach was taken to an earlier P3 project in South Florida. In that instance, however, the contractor opted to not use the publicly secured financing, and instead obtained it on its own. 

FDOT held an industry forum about the project back in March. Fortunately, much of that event was recorded by video, which readers can view here. Or just watch this single video here: