P3 and Your Tax Dollars – Federal Government Makes Next Foray Into Public Private Partnerships (“P3”)
On March 12, 2019, we posted an insight into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (the “Corps”) February 1, 2019 publication of a Request for Information on Conceptual Public Private Partnership Delivery of Specific Corps Projects. See, https://www.kilpatricktownsend.com/en/Insights/Publications/2019/3/P3-and-Your-Tax-Dollars.
The Corps has now announced that it has selected four P3 projects for consideration and exploration:
These projects were submitted by the relevant entities, including the Port of Brownsville, City of Los Angeles, Michigan Department of Transportation, and Texas General Land Office. These projects range in investment size from $288 million to $3.9 billion. They also propose different delivery methods, including Design/Build and “traditional” Design/Bid/Build. See generally, Corps Development and Validation Phase Announcement at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Infrastructure/Infra_P3_program/.
As discussed in our prior notification, the Corps’ “Infrastructure Legislative Principles” focus on civil works in the areas of water resources, inland waterways, incentives for non-federal investments through grants, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, and streamlining of permitting -- many of which are derivative of the current administration’s goals of infrastructure improvement and modernization.
As discussed before, the federal government has not pursued or participated in P3 projects traditionally. This Corps program is a significant change from the government’s prior stances, and follows a significant trend of P3 increases at the state level. This appears to be a positive development.