Given there were over a hundred potential P3 projects in planning before the conference began, the US pipeline can only be expected to grow even further following this week’s P3C conference. Dozens of public sector representatives from across the country and diverse sectors came to Dallas this week to explore how P3 can address their challenges.
While disappointment and uncertainty with principles in the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan was a major part of the discourse in Dallas, the message was clear from state and local authorities that they are getting on with the job of delivering and maintaining infrastructure, and see P3 as an important tool.
With opportunities across the US growing, Maryland, Illinois and Georgia look to continue to be stalwarts of the P3 model with projects emerging across sectors and jurisdictions in 2018 and beyond.
However the industry can also be buoyed by growing optimism and enthusiasm in the largest market, California, with authorities across the state continuing to explore the model for social, utility and transportation projects.
The state’s former transportation secretary Dale Bonner said there was a renewed effort to replace the P3 transportation statute and also good robust conversation about broadening authority for other sectors, and a comprehensive approach to P3 opportunities in the state.
Bonner, now Plenary Concessions’ executive chairman, called on the industry to get involved in communicating to Californian policymakers that this would be a good thing as the state has a lot of challenges and opportunities.
Another former Caltrans executive Kome Aijse, revealed the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) thinks P3s are a viable tool in the toolbox, which can be used effectively in southern California.
Aijse is director of planning for SCAG, the largest metropolitan planning organization in the country with 197 members including Los Angeles County.
While the extensive pipeline within Los Angeles County was noted, Aijse also confirmed P3 was being considered for projects in other counties following the passage of SB 1 Transportation funding, particularly in the larger counties. Projects mentioned include the I-10 corridor express lanes/managed lanes in San Bernardino, and express lanes/managed lanes for the I-15 in Riverside.
Aijse clarified whether these projects would proceed as P3 will depend on getting that P3 authority restored.