Identifying and Analyzing the Relative Advantages and Disadvantages of Public-Private Partnerships and Traditional Delivery for Roadway Projects

PI: Jan Whittington (UW),
Dates: 9/16/13 – 6/30/2015

With the recent adoption of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the U.S. Congress sent out a clarion call to the transport community that all roads should lead to private sector financing of our infrastructure. Congress increased the key transport lending tool, the TIFIA program, almost ten-fold to $1 billion in the second year of the authorization bill to spur private participation. The Wall Street Journal further laid out to the financial sector and its readership, “Private investment in America’s transportation systems through public private partnerships (PPPs) has the potential to expand, revitalize and rationalize our infrastructure. With the right policies, that can happen. Motorists, truckers, shippers and private investors all stand to benefit.” This project aims to assess the advantages and disadvantages of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) in comparison to traditional forms of project delivery and financing (DBB). The project targets research to the State of California and the Pacific Northwest States of Region 10, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, making use of results from existing completed cases of side-by-side projects delivered traditionally and delivered through partnership agreements.