This story was originally published in Concrete Construction.

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Perhaps federal leadership on U.S. infrastructure is not as essential as it has been in the past. As Congress and the administration bicker and ignore the problem, private equity funds are eager to invest in infrastructure and some public agencies are moving ahead on their own.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, private money is building up in dedicated infrastructure funds. Blackstone Group, for example, is raising $40 billion; the total in all of this type of funds was $450 billion at the end of 2017 compared to only $7 billion in 2000. Much of that money is currently going to private infrastructure, like electric utilities and communication. But states and cities could get in on some of that if federal matching funds were available, although no action on that front will be taken until after the midterm elections.

In the meantime, many of the states are moving ahead on their own. For example, Indiana’s governor announced $1 billion in new infrastructure spending on I-69 and other public projects. At the same time, the Michigan DOT says it will spend $1.4 billion on I-75 north of Detroit. MDOT is using a financing system, and a design-build approach, that has allowed it to cut 10 years off the previous estimate for getting this work done. This is the first public design-build project in Michigan.

To learn more about streamlining public infrastructure projects, plan now to attend the Infrastructure Imperative in November in Cleveland. The speaker lineup includes internationally recognized experts on topics that couldn’t be more relevant to today’s infrastructure needs. And remember, if you contact me directly, I can give you a code to get a complimentary registration. You’ll be sorry if you miss this chance to get fired up on infrastructure work!

This story was originally published in Concrete Construction.