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Arizona to Expand Use of PPPs for Transportation Projects

Arizona to Expand Use of PPPs for Transportation Projects

Gov. Jan Brewer earlier this month signed legislation that allows the Arizona Department of Transportation to enter into public/private partnerships for construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of transportation projects such as toll roads.

The measure, HB 2396, revises an existing law that some critics claimed was too restrictive on the types of public/private partnerships allowed in the transportation sector. The new law applies to new roads; it prohibits current highways from being converted into privately owned tollways. 

 A 2008 report from the Arizona Investment Council noted the state must invest upwards of $250 billion during the next 25 years just to maintain its transportation infrastructure at current performance levels. ADOT spokesman Timothy Tait said declining state revenue forced the department to cut some $600 million worth of projects in its five-year transportation plan. 

Supporters said the revised PPP law will enable a greater role for private investment in Arizona’s infrastructure especially as public investment levels drop due to lower government revenue resulting from the nation’s economic recession.

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