U.S. DOT offers draft legislation on public-private partnerships

Proposed legislation could help states reduce barriers to private-sector investments in transportation infrastructure

News AASHTO Journal January 17, 2007
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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week it has drafted model legislation to promote public-private partnerships as part of the agency's anti-congestion initiative.

The model legislation is based on a survey of existing state laws that authorize public-private partnerships in building, owning or operating highways, mass transit, railroads, airports, seaports or other transportation infrastructure, The Trucker magazine reported.

"The growing stranglehold that congestion is placing on America's transportation network calls for new ways of financing and maintaining our critical transportation infrastructure," Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said.

Because states need statutory authority to enter into public-private agreements, she said the proposed legislation could help states draft language that would reduce or remove barriers to private-sector investment in transportation infrastructure.

Peters said 21 states and Puerto Rico already have at least some legal ability to engage in public-private partnerships, but many of those laws provide limited or project-specific authority.

The model legislation is available on the Internet at www.fhwa.dot.gov/ppp/legislation.htm.

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