October 13, 2019

October 11, 2019

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New Federal Infrastructure Plan Coming Soon

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao recently informed the U.S. Senate that the President’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan will be announced by the end of the month. The new plan is anticipated to rely upon public-private partnerships (P3s) to bridge the gap between the cost of needed infrastructure and available government dollars.

The American Society of Civil Engineers recently estimated that, over the next 10 years, there is a $2 trillion investment gap between available government funding and required infrastructure investments. Unfortunately, our infrastructure is in a severe state of disrepair, and the recent failures of aging roads, bridges, and dams highlight the need to solve this investment problem–with urgency.

Fortunately, private investors have $120 trillion in assets and are always on the lookout for good long-term investments, and a well-structured P3 certainly qualifies.  Although a P3 requires that the private partner accept risks in exchange for its anticipated returns–there is no free money–private investors can mitigate those risks by pooling their investments and by monitoring and disciplining the private contractors to ensure performance targets are achieved.  The end result is a win-win for both the public and private sectors.  The public obtains the private investments required to construct infrastructure that the government could not afford on its own, as well as an additional layer of oversight.  And so long as the private sector delivers what is promised, it obtains a reliable long-term investment. 

Although P3s are often dismissed as “privatization” or associated with a handful of early failures, as opposed to the hundreds of worldwide successes, there is a growing bipartisan acknowledgement of the benefits P3s can bring.  Sen. Mark Warner, for example,  recently proposed the Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment (BRIDGE) Act, which contemplates a vastly increased role for PPPs in solving our infrastructure crisis.

© 2019 Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

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About this Author

Albert Dotson, Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm, Real Estate and Land Development Attorney
Partner

Nationally recognized for his work on public-private partnerships (P3), Al's experience includes rail and transit facilities, airports, marinas, sports stadiums, convention centers, healthcare/life sciences facilities, educational institutions, water and sewer facilities, and parking structures.

Al is recognized throughout Florida for his work representing local, national, and international clients in responding to government contract solicitations and defending against, or prosecuting quasi-judicial and judicial bid protests.

305-350-2411
Associate

Eric Singer is an Associate in the Government Relations & Land Development Group. His practice focuses on government procurement contracts and the development approval process, including planning and zoning applications, government approvals and permits. Eric also represents clients in quasi-judicial matters and has handled land use cases in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels.

305-350-2354