Pacific Northwest Regional Accelerator launched

One of the US Department of Transportation’s flagship Regional Infrastructure Accelerator (RIA) initiatives has officially launched in Portland, Oregon.

The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) has initiated the RIA program, which is the only multi-state scheme of the 10 RIA initiatives being developed through the Build America Bureau to speed up the delivery of major infrastructure projects using private investment.

A deal was signed in February 2022 to establish the PNWER RIA program, with USDOT providing two years of funding to advance two regionally significant infrastructure projects that - for various reasons - need extra assistance getting across the finish line. 

The funding also supports the establishment of a Center of Excellence for innovative infrastructure financing in the Pacific Northwest.

“The [PNWER RIA] team has gotten off to a great start,” said Build America Bureau director, Morteza Farajian. “PNWER has been able to do everything from hiring staff and relevant consultants, conducting stakeholder outreach, and completing preliminary work for proposed projects in the pipeline.”

“There needs to be more collaboration between the public and private sector on infrastructure project delivery,” added PNWER chief executive, Matt Morrison. “Canada does this extremely well, and the US can learn from their example.”