Modernization of America’s major highways and bridges is facing a serious problem. In a nutshell, highway users don’t want to pay what it costs to rebuild or replace these aging pieces of critical infrastructure. And this poses a significant threat to the ability to use long-term design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) public-private partnerships (P3s) for these megaprojects. Two recent examples are playing out before our eyes, one in Alabama and the other in Pennsylvania, but there are many others waiting in the wings.
Several years ago the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) gave priority to a proposed plan to build a new Mobile River