Senator Fuschillo to Chair Public Hearing Examining Use of Public-Private Partnerships to Fund Transportation Projects

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

September 22, 2011

            Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, announced that the Committee will be holding a public hearing examining the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to fund transportation infrastructure projects. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 27th at 10 am at Farmingdale State College (IRTT Room T-101, Lupton Hall).            

            Discussion at the hearing will focus on how New York State can utilize P3s in order to expedite and better fund infrastructure projects throughout New York State. P3s enable governments to partner with the private sector to finance the construction, maintenance, and operation of infrastructure projects. Given the private sector’s vested financial interest in completing projects on-time and under-budget, P3s often perform more efficiently than their counterparts and save money. 29 other states and Puerto Rico have enacted laws authorizing public-private partnerships for highway & bridge projects. 

Public-private partnerships would give the state a new funding mechanism to repair and rehabilitate its aging transportation infrastructure. The state is replacing and rehabilitating far below the necessary number of bridges and highways to maintain a state of good repair. Nearly half of New York’s 17,400 state and local highway bridges are either deficient now or will become deficient within the next ten years. 

            The hearing will also solicit input on legislation Senator Fuschillo is sponsoring (S5445) to utilize public-private partnerships to finance transportation infrastructure projects. Under the Innovative Infrastructure Development Act, the New York State Department of Transportation, MTA, New York State Bridge Authority, and New York State Thruway Authority would be given the flexibility to enter into P3 agreements to finance and deliver transportation infrastructure projects.  

            A number of experts from government agencies, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and labor & trade organizations are expected to testify.                 

            Members of the public are welcome to attend and submit written testimony. Oral testimony is by invitation only.