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Tolling Points

‘All Options Are On the Table’: U.S. Senator Inhofe

Bill Cramer

The importance of public-private partnerships was front and center last week when Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chair James Inhofe (R-OK) marked Infrastructure Week with an op ed in The Hill.

“Even as state and local partners emphasize infrastructure, we need to find responsible and meaningful ways to attract and leverage additional private investment to help further close the gap,” Inhofe wrote. “All options are on the table and we should look for ways to incentivize our non-federal partners to use them.”

He pointed to P3s as a tool that gives states the freedom “to address specific priorities when public funding at the full cost may not be available. While public-private partnerships are not a solution everywhere,” he added, Washington, DC decision-makers “are looking at all the ways we can encourage infrastructure investment to ensure long-term results while creating jobs and promoting economic development.”

Voters Are Ready for Solutions

The forward momentum from the White House and Capitol Hill couldn’t come at a better time.

Earlier this year, in the latest edition of its quadrennial Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers identified a massive, $836-billion shortfall in the country’s surface transportation funding. It assigned a C+ grade to America’s bridges, a D to the roadway network, and a D+ to the country’s overall infrastructure.

And the latest polling by HNTB Corporation shows that American voters want the problem solved.

  • 92% consider it very or extremely important to maintain highways and bridges, improve traffic safety, and reduce congestion.
  • 85% see a link between roadway congestion and traffic deaths.
  • 61% identify congestion relief and safety as top priorities in surface transportation.
  • Only 35% consider their local highways and bridges very or extremely safe.

In the Senator’s op ed for The Hill, Inhofe reiterated the commitment in Washington, DC to consider a trillion-dollar funding package for the country’s infrastructure. As those discussions unfold, the tolling industry will be ready and eager to step forward with an essential tool for enabling innovative solutions like P3s and stretching every dollar—public and private—to deliver the greatest benefit on our roads.

Learn about the technologies that help tolled facilities deliver more bang for the buck. Sign up today for the IBTTA/TRB Joint Symposium on AET and Managed Lanes, July 16-18, 2017 in Dallas Texas