Private investment in transportation infrastructure projects will likely factor into the next transportation bill before Congress, but it is unlikely to play a major role.
Chris Roux, partner and co-chair of Alston & Bird’s Construction and Government Contracts Group, said that public private partnerships (P3s) should be included as a potential funding source.
“I think that the government needs to come up with additional sources for P3s,” he said. “They should put some language in there that requires looking at the P3 alternative.”
Roux said Congress should provide more federal assistance for private investors. He also said he imagines discussions of P3s will pick up once lawmakers have identified a funding source for surface transportation and stated his support for raising the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax, as well as consideration of road and bridge tolls as a potential funding mechanism.
“I think ultimately Congress will wake up and understand that tolling has to be one of the options,” he said. “I don’t think that they did sufficient testing of polling to find out what the ridership would look like.”