On July 17, President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Build America Investment Initiative. The initiative includes a host of measures to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth, including the formation of the Build America Transportation Investment Center. The Center will work with regional governments and private sector investors to encourage collaboration, expand the market for public-private partnerships, and put existing federal credit programs to greater use.
The Build America Investment Initiative, designed to use private capital to complement government funding, includes the creation of the Build America Transportation Investment Center, which will be housed at the Department of Transportation. The Center is intended to be a “one-stop shop” for state and local governments, public and private developers, and investors seeking to utilize innovative financing strategies for transportation infrastructure projects.
The Center will provide information to regional governments, developers, and investors through a website and on-demand technical assistance. Personnel at the Center will encourage awareness and use of existing Department of Transportation (DOT) programs by regional governments. The Center will also explain and make other DOT credit programs more accessible to governments and leverage both public and private funding to support infrastructure projects. Additionally, the Center will offer tools and resources to help private sector and infrastructure investors execute successful public-private partnerships and help guide local and state governments, project sponsors, and investors through the environmental review and permitting process.
Along with offering hands-on support, advice, and expertise, the Center plans to share the best practices of governments that are leading the way on private investment with governments that have not yet adopted innovative financing strategies. The website will provide information about DOT credit programs, case studies of successful projects and examples of deal structures, standard operating procedures for public-private partnership projects and analytical toolkits, and guides for investors to better understand how DOT credit and grant programs can be used together to support project development.
With a global community investing in infrastructure projects, hundreds of billions of dollars are potentially available for funding U.S. public-private infrastructure. The Build America Transportation Investment Center is intended to help state and local governments and investors form public-private partnerships to utilize these funds and help spur economic growth.