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Report on Highway Public-Private Partnership Concessions in the United States

December 2016
Table of Contents

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1 Introduction

The increasing use of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) concessions as a delivery option for complex highway projects in the US has been facilitated through a wide range of financial, technical and policy initiatives undertaken by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). Many reports and case studies have been developed and disseminated relating to individual P3 projects. This report attempts to identify trends and synthesize the U.S. experience with the evolving use of highway P3s concession projects and the federal involvement with them.

This Report on P3s assesses and synthesizes the experience of the 28 highway P3 concession projects that have been implemented in the U.S. since 1992. The report assesses trends and market developments that have occurred over the baseline horizon for three different groups of P3s:

  • Real Toll Concessions
  • Availability Payment Concessions
  • Long-Term Leases

The report analyzes how the use of different financing strategies and procurement structures have evolved over time, focusing in particular on the use of federal financial tools and related approvals.

The report includes an appendix with 28 narrative P3 Story documents providing comprehensive information on each highway P3 project to have reached financial close in the United States since 1992. These documents convey the stories behind these projects and how they came to be procured on a P3 basis. Presented in a parallel format, the P3 Story documents provide physical descriptions of different projects and describe the history behind them and the steps that led to the decision to implement them on a P3 basis. The P3 Story narratives also describe the procurement process that was used to award the P3 concessions and thorough descriptions of how they were financed. They also discuss the implementation process and track significant developments that have occurred after these innovative projects entered service.

1.1 Data and Approach

The report has been prepared using information from a wide variety of sources. These include reports and other documentation available on project websites, information from FHWA's extensive project databases, industry journals, and interaction with public agencies sponsoring P3 projects and the private sector developers who implement and operate P3 projects. The information in the body of the report is largely synthesized from the contents of the P3 Story documents.

1.2 Structure of the Report

This Report on P3s is organized into four chapters. Chapter 2 provides a brief overview of P3 typologies, transaction types and payment models and accompanying discussions of the opportunities and challenges encountered in application of this delivery option. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the federal role in the P3 concession process, identifying the different financial tools and related approval processes that can be used to advance P3 projects, as well as Build America Bureau and FHWA activities supporting P3 concession projects. The bulk of the analytical information in the report can be found in Chapter 4. This chapter presents trends and market developments that have occurred over the baseline horizon for real toll concessions, availability payment concessions and long-term leases.

The report includes an appendix containing the P3 Story narratives described earlier.

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