The Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Project: An Introspective Look and Year One Lessons Learned

The Rapid Bridge Replacement (RBR) Project is a$1.8B ($900M Design and Construction Cost) Public-Private Partnership (P3) to replace 558 geographically dispersed structurally deficient bridges throughout the state of Pennsylvania in an accelerated timeframe (approximately 3 years) and includes maintenance of the replaced bridges for the next 25 years.  This one of a kind project has successfully reached Financial Close and will soon be progressing into year two of the design and construction phase.  The presenters will be taking an introspective look at the project from the perspective of both PennDOT and the Development Entity, including lessons learned through year one.  Discussion topics may include legislative history and authorization (Act 89), risk transfer approach differences between Early Completion Bridges (ECBs) and Regular Eligible Bridges (REBs), funding approach (State funds vs. Federal funds), PennDOT centralization process and District coordination, design phase methodology, construction phase approach, delineation of handback requirements and useful life considerations, stakeholder engagement and communication, and technology utilization (big data approach).  A discussion of lessons learned may include design phase coordination expectations vs. reality, construction phase challenges, and perspectives on both PennDOT and the Development Entity’s to date project successes.


  • Dean H. El-Baz, Senior Program Manager, AECOM P3 Advisory Services
  • Michael Bonini, Director of PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships
  • Matt Girard, Project Director, COO Plenary Concessions
  • Gary R. Kleist, P.E., RBR Project Manager, PennDOT Bureau of Project Delivery