Jim Hannon: Army Engineers Want Private Sector’s Help to Cut Waterway Construction Backlog

Army Corps of EngineersThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aims to clear a $60 billion backlog on water resources construction projects through a combination of public and private backing, Federal News Radio reported Monday.

Michael O’Connell writes that USACE is having trouble completing waterway improvements with its $2 billion annual recapitalization budget.

Jim Hannon, chief of USACE’s operations and regulatory division, has said that the organization is studying how to attract private financing with a payback period of 20 to 50 years.

“Previously authorized projects, we think, are prime candidates for the opportunity to utilize these P3 tools,” Hannon told participants at a roundtable discussion hosted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“One of the other things that we’re really looking into and reaching out to private investors is to get a better understanding of what they expect when they enter into one of these types of agreements,” he added, according to the station.

O’Connell reports that a recently enacted law calls for public-private initiatives to help finance infrastructures that would help both the environment and the aquatic ecosystem.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act also establishes a finance innovation authority responsible for providing credit for such projects, according to O’Connell.

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