Maine is dependent on its transportation infrastructure for continued economic strength and growth, particularly on the 22,670 miles of public roads. Maine ranks fourteenth in the nation for the largest number of highway miles traveled annually per capita – 14,912 per year. Maine is highly reliant on its road system because large areas of the State lack transportation alternatives. This means that the current and future condition of the roadways is a major concern. How such a crucial infrastructure will continue to be supported and enhanced financially to meet the growing This report also recognizes that increasingly, transportation planning must consider not only traditional issues of best practice, financing and safety, but also issues of equity and suitability. As the number of transportation initiatives grows, along with alternatives to finance them, more attention must be devoted to determining the suitability of an option for a State’s specific needs.
While the primary focus of this report is the identification of financing options that public entities could employ for roadway financing, the report also investigates public-private partnerships as a financing option. The report finds that the primary benefits of such partnerships include the ability to complete a greater number of projects at a faster rate as well as the potential to decrease the cost of new projects. The concerns surrounding public-private partnerships include the ability of public-private partnerships to meet the needs of the public transportation sector, issues of public safety (i.e., whether private contractors will meet the rigorous safety requirements of state and federal governments) and the assignment of risk among the partners, particularly operating revenue risk.