The White House announced plans to move infrastructure projects and the economy forward through a new executive action, the Build America Investment Initiative (the Initiative). A multifaceted approach, the Initiative will provide tools and assistance to increase the value of infrastructure investment through improved access to credit assistance programs and new tools for communities and investors interested in forming public-private partnerships. Several of the Initiative’s elements were recently recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC), which noted in its recent recommendations on development of the National Freight Strategic Plan that many time and money saving advances could be made in project delivery and financing.
“We’re happy to see that President Obama’s campaign for increased transportation investment is going to a new level,” said Mort Downey, Founding Chairman of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, Acting Chairman of the NFAC, and senior advisor to Parsons Brinckerhoff. “The current Congressional effort to find a temporary fix for Highway Trust Fund shortfalls is only a Band-Aid and the Administration’s focus is correctly on the need for long-term action and adequate resources. As part of this investment strategy, the Administration’s decision to create institutions to help move public-private partnerships through the process and to expedite the environmental and permits process is another important step. It’s particularly relevant for the complex intermodal freight investments that have been a key part of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors’ agenda. We look forward to helping our members take advantage of the new opportunities that will be created.”
The White House states the Initiative will create the Build America Transportation Investment Center that will provide:
- ‘Navigator Service’ for the Public and Private Sector
- Improved Access to DOT Credit Programs
- Technical Assistance
- Information to Reduce Uncertainty and Delays