- November 2012: Volume 5, Number 10

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Running to Stand Still: U.S. Public-Private Partnerships Are Slowly Building a Track Record of Success

by Tyson Freeman

Not too long ago some people in infrastructure investing thought — or hoped — public-private partnerships would in short order revolutionize infrastructure investment and procurement in the United States. Maybe that day is yet to come; however, the reality now is that those lofty expectations have not been met. Instead, P3 continues to be used in projects that are well suited to the model, and slowly but surely public-private partnerships are demonstrating their value and earning the respect of a growing number of people in the market.

Most infrastructure investment practitioners have accepted reality — there will be no P3 revolution in the United States. In retrospect, expectations of a fast-developing P3 market driven by a fiscally challenged public sector and yield-hungry investors were too high. Now investors are more grounded, using words like “cautious optimism” and “an evolving market.” The current reality for the P3 market might be less exciting

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