Legislators Reach Across the Aisle to Speed Up Road Projects

State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, today, completed an endeavor started years ago when his legislation (H.B. 1833) was reported out of the House Transportation Committee today with bipartisan support.

“This legislation will reduce the time it takes to complete an infrastructure project, and every year which you add or subtract translates into hundreds of millions of dollars,” Struzzi said. “House Bill 1833 will expedite projects, get critical infrastructure needs addressed and save taxpayer dollars.”

H.B. 1833 would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Commission to use Design Build Best Value as an alternative procurement process for infrastructure design and construction. 

Struzzi said his familiarity with the concept stems back to his days working for PennDOT and he’s happy to finally see his idea come to fruition because of bipartisan support.

“It can take five to 10 years to get a road or bridge constructed using current state government practices,” added state Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., majority chairman of the House Transportation Committee. Neilson was the prime sponsor of the bill. 

“It was a pleasure to work with Rep. Struzzi on this much needed legislation,” Neilson said. “It shows that great things can happen when we work together.”

Neilson and Struzzi said that DDBV allows project owners to consider a variety of factors when obtaining materials and services required for a project. They explained that this permits them to define the selection process based on their organizational goals and project drivers and requires the designers and contractors to work together.

“It’s about expediting things and still having quality,” commented Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, minority chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “Often times there is pressure to take the lowest bid on a project. Innovation and trying something new don’t automatically make an idea a bad thing.”