American Society of Civil Engineers

Project Funding Opportunities

by Sanjeev N. Shah, P.E., M.ASCE, (Principal, Lea+Elliott, Inc., 5200 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 250, Miami, FL 33126 E-mail: and Larry Coleman, (Manager, Planning Projects, Lea+Elliott, Inc., 5200 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 250, Miami, FL 33126 E-mail:
Section: Major Activity Centers, pp. 201-211, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Automated People Movers 2009: Connecting People, Connecting Places, Connecting Modes
Abstract: The traditional pay as you go project finance mechanism, which has been prevalent in the US, is becoming more and more untenable for many project owners due to several factors, including the hyper-inflationary pressures on project costs as well as the owners’ financial capacity to issue long term debt due to the downturn in economic conditions. These pressures are common to transit agencies that do not have viable and dependable local revenue sources to leverage against limited state and/or federal funds, as well as airports where high fuel costs have negatively impacted the airline industry and the passenger traffic which is the key source to back long term debt. Public-private-partnerships (P3) and other innovative finance/project structuring strategies are used extensively in the overseas market and offer an approach for funding projects in the US. This paper examines the key factors that can make a public-private-partnership approach viable and attractive including project structuring options, revenue stream opportunities and other tangible and intangible factors such as local economic impacts and provides examples of how these factors are being considered and applied on some projects in the US.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Financial factors
Private sector
Transportation management