America’s struggle to build and renew its roads, airports, water treatment facilities, public buildings, and other infrastructure projects is old news. There is a constant drumbeat of news reports discussing our dilapidated bridges, inability to raise the federal gas tax, and the United States’ declining global competitiveness. Solutions and success stories, however, are rarely part of the discussion. One important example of a possible way to address some of our infrastructure woes is a strategy known as asset recycling.
Asset recycling is a system in which governments lease existing infrastructure to private entities. The fees generated from the lease are then used to invest in other infrastructure projects.
The most prominent example of where this tool has been used is in Australia. Between 2015 and 2017, that country’s Asset Recycling Initiative (ARI) helped finalize agreements with its states and territories worth nearly $3billion. These funds are have unlocked over $17 billion in infrastructure spending.
The Honorable Joe Hockey, Australian Ambassador to the United States of America
Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager – North America, Transurban
Robert Puentes, President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation