Today I attended a ceremony to commence a new High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes project on the Capital Beltway. This project will bring the freedom of free-flowing lanes to one of the nation's most congested highways and give travelers a new choice for a congestion-free, dependable trip.
The Beltway expansion is a prime example of the quiet revolution states are leading to use public-private partnerships to build and maintain highway infrastructure. This project combines traditional federal and state funds along with private equity. It’s a model we expect to see more of in the future.
In fact, we released a study today that provides a comprehensive review of the many innovative finance projects that have been undertaken over the last several years. This study found that more transportation public-private partnerships have been completed over the last three years than ever before.
It further noted that there are currently more than 20 major highway and transit projects that are being conducted in partnership with the private sector at various stages of development in the United States in places like California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and many other states.
These partnerships are now widely recognized as an innovative approach that can reduce project costs, accelerate project delivery and transfer risks to the private sector instead of the taxpayer. But these benefits alone do not explain the growing number of public-private partnerships happening in the United States.
States are embracing this approach at a record pace because it can relieve congestion by substituting private capital for fuel tax revenue and help leaders tap into the more than $400 billion of private capital available globally today for investment in infrastructure.
We could stimulate more than the national debt by following in the Commonwealth's lead and tapping into this vast pool of available transportation funds.
By embracing the powerful mix of technology and private sector resources, pretty soon states across the country are going to begin delivering predictable commutes, reliable roads and safe highways.
-Deputy Secretary Barrett