NJDOT signs first public-private partnership agreement
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has entered into an agreement for the development of new traffic management software for the state’s premier smart highway project, the Route 80 MAGIC (Metropolitan Area Guidance Information and Control) project.
The Public Private Partnership Legislation of 1997 allows the Commissioner of Transportation to select up to seven demonstration projects. The I-80 MAGIC project is the first executed agreement under this law.
"Making use of the latest technologies will go a long way to helping New Jersey better manage traffic," Governor Christie Whitman said. "Our small and densely-populated state needs systems like MAGIC because we can no longer afford, both from a fiscal and environmental standpoint, to widen or add new highways to ease our congestion problems."
Under the terms of the agreement, P.B. Farradyne, Inc., of Rockville, Maryland, will be paid $1.6 million to develop and implement the new software to operate the central computer system for the MAGIC project. P.B. Farradyne submitted a proposal under the aegis of the public-private partnership legislation for this project.
P.B. Farradyne will also provide NJDOT with free upgrades of the software modules developed during the partnership, free technical support by telephone, preferential rates for maintenance, preferential rates for future modules, and a perpetual license to use the modules on any state or local roadway. The ability to use this software on other projects in the future will accrue substantial savings to the state.
"This public-private partnership effort will allow New Jersey to make the best use of the leadership and resources of the private sector," Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein said. "Our transportation system, the busiest in the country, needs the combined talents and innovation of the private and pubic sectors to keep us on the cutting edge."
The intent of the public-private partnership legislation is to seek private sector investment and expertise in the delivery of public transportation goals. An open solicitation in August of 1997 and July of 1998 brought in many innovative ideas and proposals, of which eighteen were selected for further discussion and potential advancement. The public-private partnership legislation seeks private sector investment to advance public transportation goals.
The I-80 MAGIC project is currently under construction and will be completed in early 2000. The project runs along the I-80 corridor from the George Washington Bridge to the interchange with Route 287, and consists of multiple traffic surveillance and information systems controlled by a central computer system. Traffic incidents can be detected in "real time" and motorists can be advised on diversionary routes to use to avoid delays. Along with Route 80, routes 46, 4, 17, 23, 202, 287, 280 and 95 are part of the system.
Currently, there are four projects in joint development awaiting final agreement. Those projects are: light rail extension into Union County; a cross county light rail proposal for Bergen County; construction of an intermodal ferry terminal in Weehawken; and development of electronic services delivery systems for Motor Vehicles Services.