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Fact Sheets

Innovative Finance Support: An Introduction

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In this time of declining revenues and increasing fiscal requirements, it is imperative that the transportation industry be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to evaluate project finance, revenue, and procurement options at the right time in the program delivery process. By being knowledgeable about a wide range of options, both traditional and non-traditional, State and local highway agencies can better ensure that critical projects are adequately funded, delivered on schedule, and that continuing needs for the preservation and efficient operation of the system are taken into account.

The traditional process used to deliver highway projects typically does not include early consideration of alternative finance, revenue, and procurement approaches. Often, the right questions are not asked at the right time. Given limited experience in the United States with innovative strategies, such as congestion pricing and public-private partnerships, State and local governments may be reluctant to experiment with new ways of doing business. In some cases, governments may lack the necessary legal authorities to implement certain strategies, thus requiring that enabling legislation be enacted.

The Center of Innovative Finance Support (IFS), under FHWA's Office of Innovative Program Delivery (OIPD) offers a comprehensive suite of resources to assist the transportation community in considering innovative program delivery strategies.

IFS Resources

Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, CA
Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, CA

Technical Expertise to help address the business, financial, administrative, public acceptance, political, and institutional issues associated with the program delivery process and innovative project finance, tolling and pricing, and public-private partnership strategies.

Research to help the industry better understand and apply innovative strategies such as congestion pricing and public-private partnerships.

Capacity Building programs, such as the IFS Academy, to provide the skill set and tools needed to effectively evaluate and apply alternative program delivery options.

Awareness programs to include partnership building with a wide variety of stakeholder communities to establish interest in innovative program delivery practices.

TIFIA Credit Assistance to help innovative projects clear funding hurdles by providing low-cost, flexible, and long-term financing.

Project Delivery Resources, providing expertise, research, and technical assistance and best practices for project cost estimates, financing, and management plans, as well as assistance for FHWA Divisions in carrying out their statutory oversight and stewardship responsibilities.

Capital Beltway in Northern VA
An aerial view of Capital Beltway in Northern VA

In delivering the program, IFS partners with FHWA's Division Offices to serve as a resource for innovative project delivery processes and practices to our State and local partners. The Center also plays a coordinating and convening role in bringing together related activities underway in other FHWA offices. For example, IFS works closely with other FHWA offices to implement the Federal tolling and pricing programs. Additionally, IFS has the lead agency role in assisting our partners in implementing Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs) and State Infrastructure Bank (SI B) programs, coordinating with the Chief Financial Officers and Division Finance Staff to provide technical assistance and assist Divisions with carrying out their stewardship responsibilities for those programs.

Project and Program Delivery: A Systems Approach

Cooper River Bridge aerial view
An aerial view of Cooper River Bridge, Charleston, SC.

IFS assists States in developing a more holistic view of project development, bringing in revenue and financial considerations at an early stage, and considering long-term maintenance needs. IFS also conducts the Critical Project Review process, helping projects overcome hurdles encountered during the project development and delivery process. Finally, IFS helps States consider their overall program in terms of project delivery strategies as well as funding and financing alternatives.

Capital Beltway in VA
An aerial view of Capital Beltway in Northern VA.

IFS offers professional capacity building through the IFS Academy in the following areas:

  • Innovative Program Delivery Strategies
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Tolling and Other Revenue Generation Strategies
  • Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs)
  • State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs)
  • Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
  • Major Projects, Cost Estimate Reviews, and Financial and Project Management Plans

The FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery helps State and local transportation officials consider innovation in revenue sources, financial tools, and procurement.

For more information, visit the website:

Program Areas of the FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support is a one-stop clearinghouse for expertise, guidance, research, decision tools, and publications on highway program delivery innovations. Our website, workshops, and myriad resources support transportation professionals in the use of innovative approaches for delivery of highway projects.

Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support's P3 program focuses on resources and capacity building for consideration and use of design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) concessions funded through tolls or availability payments.

Alternative Project Delivery

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support's Alternative Project Delivery program provides information on contractual arrangements that allow for greater private participation in infrastructure development by transferring risk and responsibility from public project sponsors to private sector engineers, contractors and investors.

Project Finance

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support's Project Finance program focuses on alternative financing, including State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs), Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs), and Private Activity Bonds (PABs).

Tolling and Pricing

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support's Federal Tolling and Pricing program focuses on the use of tolling and other road user charges as a revenue source to fund highway improvements, and the use of variably-priced tolls as a tool to manage congestion.

Value Capture

The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support's Value Capture program explores strategies for tapping into the added value that transportation improvements bring to nearby properties as a means to provide new funding for surface transportation improvements.


Patrick DeCorla-Souza
(202) 366-4076

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Quick Facts

Includes experts on tolling, pricing, public-private partnerships, project finance, and project delivery

Provides one-stop shopping for Center for Innovative Finance Support techniques

Coordinates research and provides policy for Center for Innovative Finance Support program areas

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