The Congressional Budget Office released a report last week analyzing a national transportation infrastructure bank, which is a proposal that many on Capitol Hill would like to use in order to boost funding and improve the selection process for projects. The report finds that an infrastructure bank could play a limited role in enhancing investment in surface transportation projects, but that is could create a selection process that would overcome certain barriers to the financing of multi-regional or multimodal projects.
The bank would provide financing through loans, and projects would have to include tolls, taxes or other dedicated revenue streams when repaying them. Private and NGO partners, as well as state and local entities, could apply. While this would assist with funding, the report said, only a select number of projects could qualify. Read more here.
Senator Kerry (D-MA) introduced the BUILD Act, S. 652, last year, which is a broader infrastructure bank focusing also on water and energy projects. ASCE has endorsed the legislation. In the House Representative DeLauro (D-CT) has also introduced a version of the infrastructure bank with H.R. 402, the National Infrastructure Development Act.
ASCE Policy Statement 532 supports the creation and operation of a national infrastructure bank that can fund transportation, environment, energy, and telecommunications projects of significance.