Nebraska is very likely to use a general public private partnership to finance completion of its expressway system now that the Legislature has passed a regulation authorizing transportation P3s.
“The expressway program is the reason we released this invoice,” claimed Amanda Callaway, legislative aide to state Sen. Lynne Walz, who sponsored LB 1016. The monthly bill enables the Nebraska Division of Transportation to enter into specified general public-non-public partnerships for building or funding of capital projects or procurement of products and services under the state’s Transportation Innovation Act.
Nebraska commenced work on the 600-mile expressway system in 1988, but nearly a third continues to be unfinished, with a selling price tag of approximately $500 million – up from $200 million – and a projected completion date of 2040.
“We’re seeking to assistance speed that challenge up,” Callaway stated.
Nebraska is a shell out-go state whose structure prohibits issuing general obligation bonds above $100,000.
Walz introduced the P3 bill immediately after a measure she unveiled final year, which would have allowed the point out to difficulty bonds for the expressway, failed to gain traction.
“We are a pay-as-you-go condition, which would seem like the fiscally responsible issue to do, but as we carry on to see inflation, wages and supply costs increase, we may well not have the fiscal means to continue on down that route for every single job,” Walz said in a press release.
Gov. Pete Ricketts signed the P3 monthly bill into legislation on April 18.
Nebraska has only 1 P3 transportation project, the Lincoln Beltway, an 11-mile, 4-lane freeway to be developed south of the Town of Lincoln. The undertaking received the Bond Buyer’s 2020 P3 Deal of the Year.
Ricketts is opposed to issuing bonds for the expressway system, declaring last 12 months that borrowing would “waste” money on fascination payments and could endanger the state’s credit score rating. Moody’s Buyers Service maintains an Aa1 issuer rating on the condition and S&P Worldwide Scores prices it AAA.
The point out funds transportation with a blend of fuel tax, automobile charges and a piece of the state’s basic fund profits tax.
LB 1016 also lets a contractor to use the so-called progressive design-build system, which delivers in a private companion at the earlies phase of the course of action.
The legislation necessitates NDOT by July 2023 to adopt standards it will use to figure out when a public-non-public partnership is to be applied for a certain undertaking.
The Legislature is not permitted to get the point out DOT to undertake jobs, so the ultimate expressway determination stays in the department’s hands, Calloway reported.
NDOT did not return repeated phone calls for remark.