Portland, Ore. – Critical infrastructure improvements are required across the Pacific Coast region, and a year-old collaboration between three states and a Canadian province is working to improve the way such projects are developed, financed and delivered. The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) must first determine how to identify, measure and ultimately select projects to assisted, in a region facing an estimated $1 trillion in public works needs over the next three decades.
The Exchange today released for comment draft infrastructure project standards, “Infrastructure Project Certification - Proposed Principles and Framework.” When finalized, the principles will be used to help certify proposed projects. WCX is seeking input from a diverse range of stakeholders (investors, state and local government project proponents, labor, advisors, contractors, etc.)
The international partnership brings together the states of California, Oregon and Washington and the province of British Columbia. The Exchange was launched in 2012 by governors, treasurers and key infrastructure development agencies to address the daunting level of unmet infrastructure needs, many of them of regional significance. Meeting this need will require innovative project delivery and financing methods, including private sector investment. Yet, to date, the private sector has been hesitant to invest in public infrastructure because projects can be unpredictable and consistent standards are not always followed. Also, public infrastructure projects are perceived to carry substantial political risk.
The WCX established a Business Standards Committee to develop a set of best practices to address these concerns including a framework and set of principles that projects should follow to achieve success, including responsible contracting standards and climate resilience. The Business Standards Committee includes representatives from the private and public sectors from multiple jurisdictions.
The WCX plans to certify public infrastructure investment opportunities based on their adherence to these best practices, with a goal of increasing both private and public sector confidence in initiating, investing in and/or executing certified projects.
The comment period on the draft standards will be for 30 days. Comments may be submitted on line via the WCX website, http://westcoastx.com/home/discussion-forum.html or via email to email@example.com