By Rich Juliano, senior vice president and managing director of contractors and P3 divisions, ARTBA

In a March 18 letter to members of the Colorado General Assembly, ARTBA warned that pending legislation could increase costs or even endanger current and future public private partnerships (P3s) in the state.

The bill (SB 16-123) would prohibit state agencies and operators of managed lane projects from requiring certain motorists to use switchable transponders when driving those lanes. ARTBA noted that from its national perspective, successful state P3 laws strike a balance between proper levels of legislative oversight and public transparency on the one hand, and flexibility for public agencies and their private sector partners on the other.  Unfortunately, because of the uncertainty created by this type of legislative action, it could result in fewer teams opting to pursue future P3 projects in Colorado, or increased costs as competing teams include contingencies in their proposals to cover the risk of future legislative changes.

As to current P3 projects in the state, ARTBA writes, “In effect, SB 16-123 could create a ‘Jenga’ game, whereby removal of a single building block within the managed lanes agreement could bring it crashing down.”  ARTBA expressed opposition to the bill in its current form.

The Colorado legislation and other P3 developments will be discussed in detail at ARTBA’s 28th Annual P3s in Transportation Conference, July 13-15 at the Washington Court Hotel in DC.  Visit www.artbap3.org to register, sponsor, exhibit and get more information.