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February Luncheon: Public Private Partnerships

March 16, 2015 01:03 PM
WTS-Boston_February_2015_Luncheon_pic2
(From left to right) Representative Michael Capuano, Frank DePaola, and Regina McElroy

Authors:
Lisa Weber, Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation
Laurie Carlson, MassDOT

WTS-Boston convened a panel of distinguished speakers to discuss Public Private Partnerships (P3) at this year’s February luncheon. The panel included Representative Michael Capuano of  Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District; Regina McElroy, Director of the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery; and Frank DePaola, Highway Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  Jessica Strunkin, Deputy Director for the 495/Metro West Partnership, moderated the discussion.

The panelists gave examples of projects that could take advantage of P3 at the local, state, and federal level, and discussed the benefits and challenges of using P3.  For example, P3 could be used to help fund public streets, bridges, and portions of the interstate highway system. When transportation needs are greater than available funding, P3s can serve as a source of alternative revenue to successfully address budget challenges.

Across Massachusetts, agencies are examining P3 as a potential funding source.  Currently, Massachusetts’ agencies are considering bridge capacity expansions, service plaza and rest area improvements, and toll lane developments that enable quicker transit times on congested corridors as potential P3 projects.  P3 is considered for projects once the agency has determined there could be a worthwhile return on investment for private sector investors.  As public funding of transportation projects continues to be a challenge, the panelists noted that both Massachusetts and the nation may see more P3 projects in the future.  

 

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