Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Governor Bob McDonnell Named “Public Infrastructure Official of the Year”

Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at...
Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell:  Photo by;  Gage Skidmore . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor Becomes 5th Winner of Infrastructure Investor Magazine Award; First American Official to Gain Honor
Previous Winners: India Roads Minister Kamal Nath; Mexican President Felipe Calderon; Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty; Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese

RICHMOND- Infrastructure Investor, a global magazine and online news service covering transportation investment, has named Governor Bob McDonnell its “Public Infrastructure Official of the Year.” In an article in this month’s publication, available here, and titled “Recognising McDonnell’s Vision,” the magazine states, “Having delivered more P3 projects than any state in the last five years, Virginia clearly stands out as a leader in utilizing public-private partnerships to improve transportation infrastructure.” The article further notes, “Virginia currently has 22 public-private partnerships projects in the pipeline, more than all other states combined,” and that “in the past five years, Virginia closed $8.1 billion worth of P3 deals- $6 billion closed in 2012 alone.”

Governor McDonnell is the first American recipient of the award, now in its fifth year. Previous winners are India Roads Minister Kamal Nath in 2009; Mexican President Felipe Calderon in 2010; Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty in 2011; and Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese in 2012.

Speaking about the award the governor noted, “Over the last four years we’ve invested creatively and repeatedly in Virginia’s transportation infrastructure. Our roads, rail, and ports are crucial to job creation and economic growth in the Commonwealth. Recognizing that, we passed the state’s first major transportation funding plan in over a generation, putting in $6 billion in new resources into transportation over the next five years alone. We also looked for every means by which to bring the private sector into the infrastructure market to leverage state resources further. Through smart, targeted agreements we now have 22 public-private partnership projects underway. The four biggest projects generated $11.4 billion in economic activity in 2012, and supported over 58,000 jobs. Virginia is a national, and now a global, leader in the effort by governments to partner with the private sector to build much needed transportation infrastructure that will grow our economy and improve the quality of life of our citizens.”

The governor continued, “I specifically want to thank several individuals who have played key roles in making Virginia a global leader in public-private partnerships. Speaker Bill Howell was the chief patron of major transportation initiatives in 2007, 2011, and 2013. Senator Walter Stosch was the creator of Virginia’s landmark PPTA bill in 1995 that laid the groundwork for everything that has followed. Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton has led our work to craft financially sound agreements with the private sector to get the recent major deals done. And Tony Kinn has done a remarkable job as Director of Virginia’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, under the leadership of VDOT Commissioner Gregory Whirley and VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. I thank all six gentlemen for their steadfast leadership in this area. Through the passage of innovative legislation, and a focus on identifying and securing strategic projects, they have made Virginia the international model for how to build roads and rail faster and cheaper through the effective utilization of public-private partnerships.”

Senator Walter Stosch said, “As one of the early proponents of PPTAs in Virginia, I am pleased see the results of our efforts finally paying off.  During the course of the McDonnell Administration, we have worked together to streamline processes, centralize our P3 expertise, and advance several long-stalled projects.  These projects, like the I95 Express Lanes, the Downtown/Midtown Tunnel and Route 460 will not only help relieve congestion in some of our worst bottlenecks, but will also help attract jobs and economic development opportunities.  I applaud Governor McDonnell for his ongoing efforts to address Virginia’s transportation needs, and congratulate his for this award.”

“Over the last 30 years, no Governor has offered a bolder and clearer vision on transportation than Bob McDonnell,” said Speaker Bill Howell. “His work on public-private partnership projects has made Virginia a global leader. His vision, initiative and leadership produced the first major transportation funding plan in a generation. I am proud of the work that Governor McDonnell has done and look forward to building on his legacy in the years to come.”

The full article can be read here.

The four biggest public-private projects currently underway in the Commonwealth currently are the I-495 and the I-95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia; the U.S. Route 460 Corridor between Petersburg and Suffolk; and the Midtown Tunnel in Portsmouth.
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