Two individuals and two organizations were recognized Nov. 15 for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) within the transportation construction industry at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) 23rd Annual P3 Conference, held Nov. 14 to 16 in Washington, D.C.
ARTBA’s P3 Awards program spotlights the projects and people bringing together private and public resources to help meet the nation’s critical transportation infrastructure needs. Applicants were judged by members of ARTBA’s P3 Division in these categories:
The “P3 Entrepreneur of the Year Award” is given to one public sector official and one private sector person for their involvement in promoting the use of P3s:
• Jordi Graells, president, Abertis USA — Graells was recognized for his leadership in negotiating the PR-22 and PR-5 Toll Concessions in Puerto Rico. The firm partnered with Goldman Sachs to submit the winning $1.4 billion bid to operate and maintain the highways and toll facilities for the next 40 years.
• Kome Ajise, P3 program manager, Caltrans — Ajise was honored for his leadership in managing Caltrans’ P3 office, his role in the Presidio Parkway project and his nearly 25-year career in the public sector advancing transportation infrastructure projects.
The “P3 Project of the Year Award” recognizes innovative projects that serve as an example of successful cooperation between the public and private sectors. The judging resulted in a tie vote:
• Denver Regional Transportation District (Denver RTD) — The Denver RTD was recognized for its role in the $2.1 billion FasTracks Eagle P3, the largest transit project in the nation to utilize a full Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain procurement. The FasTracks project consists of three rail corridors and adds 122 mi. of rail and bus rapid transit to Denver’s existing system that will connect downtown with Denver International Airport.
• Puerto Rico P3 Authority — The group was recognized for securing the PR-22 and PR-5 toll road deals. It signed a 40-year highway concession with the Autopistas Metroplitanas de Puerto Rico consortium to privately operate and maintain the existing routes. The Puerto Rico P3 Authority developed a strategy for successfully implementing the P3 model and built support for the projects through a large-scale public relations campaign.
ARTBA’s P3 Conference is the nation’s leading summit on innovative transportation finance, attended by hundreds of industry executives, public officials and investment firm representatives each year.