Industry welcomes infra bill

Experts highlight P3 opportunities created by bill as it heads for Presidential signature

Industry experts have hailed the bipartisan passage in the US House or Representatives of President Joe Biden’s flagship infrastructure bill as a hugely significant moment for the country.

As reported at the weekend, the House voted 228-206 in favor of the plans, with 215 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting for the bill.

The Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) said states and local governments across the US could ‘turbocharge’ the planned investments by utilizing the provisions to deliver new P3s and stimulate private capital.

AIAI executive director Lisa Buglione said: “P3s can attract significant amounts of private investment for public infrastructure projects, vastly increasing the amount of financing available to get projects moving faster. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains many pro-P3 and alternative procurement provisions which will help project owners take advantage of the P3 model and its many benefits to taxpayers.

“With this legislation, we are going to enjoy significant growth in the P3 market across the US,” she added.

Meanwhile, some experts pointed to an amendment in the bill that increases the maximum maturity of TIFIA loans to the lower of (a) 75 years, and (b) 75% of the estimated useful life of the relevant asset. They suggested that this will likely make many more P3 projects financially viable. 

However, some in the market have questioned whether the bill will lead to a significant increase in P3s, and whether the federal agencies are sufficiently resourced to effectively administer such large sums, after initial plans for an Infrastructure Financing Authority were dropped in the Senate.