Infrastructure banks were initially used by state infrastructure authorities. Later they were used within state-level departments of transportation to stretch federal funding further. Infrastructure banks have now been used within local governments to leverage local funding dollars for more flexibility when seeking matching funds or quickly delivering public works projects.
Infrastructure banks use initial seed capital to lend money for infrastructure projects and then recycle the repayments in a revolving loan fund to finance future projects. This provides a self-sustaining funding opportunity. Several states have used their banks to accelerate the delivery of both large and small public works projects, while also leveraging federal funds into projects. In South Carolina, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (see a video of the bridge here) was funded through the South Carolina Infrastructure Bank. Other states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania, have also widely incorporated infrastructure banks into many projects.
As both federal and state governments are looking to award funding to projects with larger shares of local funding, “match” local county governments have turned to the infrastructure bank concept to leverage more local funding into projects and better compete for scarce grant dollars.
BENEFITS OF INFRASTRUCTURE BANKS
Infrastructure banks have a number of benefits, typically including:
- Flexible repayment terms
- Low interest rates
- Accelerated project delivery
- Shorter-term loans available
- Ability to borrow small amounts
- Loan repayments go back into other projects
- Economic development benefits
Want to see the benefits in action? Below are two samples of successful county infrastructure banks.
FRANKLIN COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE BANK (FCIB)
The Franklin County Infrastructure Bank (FCIB) was created in 2015. Located in Central Ohio, the infrastructure bank has invested in projects and created jobs in townships, villages, and cities throughout the county. Eligible projects include roads, bridges, bike trails, traditional energy infrastructure, drinking water, stormwater, telecommunications, fiber optics, and more.
The bank has loaned more than $5.6 million for six projects. These projects included:
- Water facility improvement project in Marble Cliff, Ohio
- North Hamilton road improvements in Whitehall, Ohio
- Fiber-optic network installation in Upper Arlington, Ohio
- Goodale Boulevard roadway improvements in Grandview Heights, Ohio
- Fiber-optic network installation in Grove City, Ohio
- Stringtown Road roadway improvements, extending sewer and waterline, in Grove City, Ohio
The FCIB has also created 887 jobs from the projects listed above.
Visit the InfrastructureWorks page for more information.
DAUPHIN COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE BANK (DCIB)
The Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank (DCIB) was formed through a partnership between the Dauphin County Commissioners and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The county’s 12 cents per gallon gas tax goes into the fund. This fund finances surface transportation projects in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The bank then provides favorable and low interest financing compared to alternative funding for these projects as a revolving loan program.
The bank even received a 2017 Governor’s Award for Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives.
Find out more on the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank page.