As states seek to meet the demand for infrastructure enhancements amid constrained budgets, they are exploring innovative approaches for planning, financing, procuring and managing assets. States have focused significantly on transportation assets, including roads, bridges, and highways, as well as airports and ports. They also have a growing interest in a broader array of physical assets, including public office buildings, schools, hospitals, water and wastewater treatment plants, and energy infrastructure. States are looking at an array of new approaches. Those include options such as public-private partnerships (PPPs), which have the potential to better address long-term asset management, improve risk allocation, encourage innovation and enhance performance; bonding instruments and state infrastructure banks, which can help leverage scarce financial resources and draw private sector investment; and direct user fees, which can help build sustainable revenue streams.

Despite potential benefits to transportation and other infrastructure, the new options are not immune to challenges with program design, implementation, project selection, or some combination thereof. In addition, they may involve complex contracts and unique financial arrangements that push the boundaries of existing state expertise. Moreover, new approaches to coordinate infrastructure planning and develop cross-cutting approaches to improved capital budgeting offer appealing efficiencies but are often outside well-established operational or organizational models. Thus, governors and their senior advisors are seeking answers to many policy, strategic, and technical questions to help them decide when and how to use innovative options to support the infrastructure demands. In response, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) created a State Resource Center on Innovative Infrastructure Strategies to provide technical assistance and build state capacity.

About the State Resource Center on Innovative Infrastructure Strategies

The NGA Center’s State Resource Center has provided four states – Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina – with policy retreats on PPPs.  The retreats used expert presentations, facilitated discussion and strategic planning to help each state develop an action plan focused on its unique needs and challenges. Each retreat helped states advance their understanding of PPPs; develop approaches for institutional peer exchanges or enhanced cross agency coordination of PPP activities; learn about tools to value PPP options; and explore the United States and international landscape for PPPs through case studies and lessons learned.

Resources

Background on Public Private Partnerships

Selected PPP Information and Case Studies