Build-operate-transfer in infrastructure projects in the United States

Algarni A. M., ARDITI D., POLAT G.

JOURNAL OF CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT, vol.133, no.10, pp.728-735, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


While the infrastructure in the United States is in need of large and immediate investment, the funds provided by public agencies are not nearly sufficient to face such a challenge. Build-operate-transfer (BOT) is a delivery/financing system that can be a solution to this problem. In this system, a private sponsor finances the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of a public project for a specified concession period, at the end of which it transfers ownership to the government agency, hopefully after recouping its costs and achieving profits. A questionnaire survey of large municipalities and state departments of transportation was conducted to determine the extent to which they are using BOT in their large projects, to investigate the implementation of BOT, and the reasons why some government agencies avoid using BOT. The findings indicate that very few agencies use BOT. The reasons why most do not use BOT were reported by the respondents to be the availability of proven alternatives and enough funds, the existence of political barriers, and resistance to change both on the part of government agencies and private sponsors. When government agencies and private sponsors explore the use of BOT, they should avoid the pitfalls perceived by the respondents in this study.