Our nation has an enormous need to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure. Delay increases the severity of the crisis. The Biden Administration has an opportunity to immediately increase investment in transportation infrastructure by utilizing existing Department of Transportation financing programs, according to Martin Klepper, the former Executive Director of the Build America Bureau at DOT. In this MTI perspective, the author explains how the Bureau’s TIFIA and RRIF loan programs can provide up to $100 billion of very attractive low-cost financing for roads, bridges, ports, freight and transit facilities and a wide range of rail projects, without the need for any new federal legislation. These programs have been fully authorized by Congress, and adequate funds have been appropriated, so loans can be made immediately. Qualified borrowers include local governments, governmental entities and private parties that enter into public private partnerships or joint ventures with governmental entities. Since the Trump Administration has used only a small portion of this lending authority, Secretary-Designate Buttigieg can greatly accelerate and expand these programs as an important first step in meeting the Administration's goal of investing $2 trillion in new and better infrastructure.
Martin Klepper was approved by President Obama in 2016 as the first Executive Director of the Build America Bureau at the Department of Transportation where he was responsible for USDOT loan programs, including TIFIA and RRIF. The Bureau also promotes public private partnerships (P3s) and assists state and local governments develop and finance P3 transactions. While at the Bureau Mr. Klepper oversaw the financing of $4 billion of loans supporting more than $20 billion of infrastructure improvements, including loans for light rail systems, toll roads and a new train station in NYC. He also was responsible for streamlining the processing, evaluation, review and approval of loans.
Prior to joining the Bureau, Marty had a long career as a partner in the global law firm Skadden Arps, where he led the Energy and Infrastructure Group and closed more than a hundred transactions totaling more than $20 billion. His clients included state and local governments and governmental entities, banks and investment banks, equity investors and project developers.
Marty is a nationally recognized expert in financing infrastructure and P3s. He currently serves as Chairman of Fengate Capital Management (US), a private equity investor in infrastructure in the US and Canada.