Ray LaHood, made it clear during his Senate nomination hearing that he believes that both federal and state governments should consider giving the private sector a bigger role in rebuilding the nation's ageing roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Coming on top of the substantial proportion of President Obama's $825 million stimulus package devoted to infrastructure spending, and the opportunity to magnify its impact by leveraging in additional private sector funding alongside federal funds, it is clear that the rebuilding of America's infrastructure will draw heavily on public private partnerships (PPPs).
However, the root and branch reform of the Surface Transportation Act during the course of 2009 will have significant implications on PPP structures. This is because the reform will address the broad question of how to fund the much-needed, long-term investment in America's transport infrastructure (including the future of the gas tax), how Federal transport programs can be improved, the interplay between emerging environmental and transport policies and how PPP models can most effectively be structured in order to address public interest concerns.
Organised with the official support of the US Department of Transportation, this well-established annual summit - the fifth in the series - will examine all these issues in the round. It provides a platform for federal and state representatives to meet with private sector experts in order to share their ideas on, and experience of, the development and implementation of PPP projects throughout the USA. The Conference will present details of emerging PPP programs and discuss solutions to some of the more intractable problems involved in making PPPs work in this challenging market, while the Pre-Conference Seminar will look at the fundamentals of successful PPP programs and projects and include a number of new sessions relevant to current market conditions.†