The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has issued a Request for Information to solicit responses from industry experts and interested parties on a proposed Metropolitan Highway System (MHS) Lighting Project to see if MassDOT should contract with an outside partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the lighting system.

The Lighting Project is a proposed initiative to improve and modernize the lighting of the tunnels and certain other elements of the MHS, including replacement of the wireways, wireway lighting circuit conductors, tunnel lighting fixture assemblies, (fixture housing, ballasts, lamps and lenses), sign lighting fixtures and lighting hanger support systems. The RFI seeks to gauge private sector interest in designing, procuring and installing the lighting system for the MHS tunnels and other MHS highway elements, which include the fixtures, associated supports, and wiring within all MHS tunnels, all tunnel cross passages, egress stairs, utility rooms, low point pump stations, storm water pump stations and supply and exhaust air plenum lighting within the tunnels.

"We are excited to take this first step toward gauging private sector interest in lighting management and lighting installation, " said MassDOT Chief Strategy Officer Scott Bosworth. "We want to find out if it would be cost-effective and lead to a better experience for the traveling public to have a vendor step in and take over this responsibility. We believe there can be energy savings, improved illumination of the roadway, and improved operating efficiencies for one of the most complex transportation systems in the nation. We look forward to receiving valuable feedback from industry experts to help us facilitate a thorough, robust review of this issue."

Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin added, "We are always asking the question, 'Is there a way we can do something better?' We are always open to new ideas, 'best practices' in the industry, and that's what this RFI is all about-seeing if there is an outside party interested in collaborating with us to improve lighting on the busiest road areas in the state and to see that the lighting is maintained in good working order."

The RFI is a result of ongoing discussions by members of the MassDOT Public-Private Partnership Program, led by Scott Bosworth and the RFI is being done in coordination with the Highway Division. MassDOT is considering a partnership with a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the lighting system.