At a time when the future of progressive policymaking depends on pragmatic leadership at the state and local level, the NewDEAL is pleased to present the Monthly Spotlight, an in-depth look into one of the many innovative ideas being championed by NewDEAL Leaders. To see all ideas that have been submitted through our bi-annual Ideas Challenges, visit the NewDEAL Ideas Portal, and visit our new Ideas Challenge Hub for more resources.
West Coast Infrastructure Exchange
What is the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange?
Federal leaders looking for examples of innovative infrastructure investment need look no further than Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. In 2015, as a State Legislator, Treasurer Read laid the crucial groundwork for the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX), a coalition of West Coast Governors, Treasurers, and private sector partners focused on re-thinking the way states invest in regional infrastructure projects. Since its launch, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange has streamlined pilot projects, utilized innovative financing methods, and dramatically increased the power of the public dollar in infrastructure investment.
How is it working?
At its core, the WCX seeks to educate, train, and convene public sector decision makers on innovative infrastructure investment solutions. One of the key ways they accomplish this is by encouraging decision makers to expand their approach to public-private partnerships by streamlining private industry involvement and increasing long term performance. For example, where a traditional infrastructure project might divide the project design, bidding, and construction process between completely separate companies, the WCX helps convene a consortium of private companies to jointly oversee design, construction, and even long term maintenance. The result is streamlined project management and improved quality for infrastructure projects across the West Coast.
In December, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange made it possible to expand support for the safety of California's water system. The Exchange provided key analysis of the impact of treating natural watersheds as part of the state's critical infrastructure, just like man-made water infrastructure, and the passage of a new law to that end means the potential for billions of dollars in restoration and protection efforts, especially supporting watersheds that feed key reservoirs as well as the vast majority of California's State Water Project and Central Valley Project.
A Model for Success
The success and efficiency of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange has not gone unnoticed. Since its founding in 2015, WCX has helped to inspire multiple emerging regional exchange programs across the country including the Northeast Infrastructure Accelerator (NEX), and the Intermountain Infrastructure Exchange (IMX).
If you are interested in learning more about
the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange,
please contact Scott Boardman at (503) 477-9259.
Check out more information about the West Cost Infrastructure Exchange and Resources for Action at the NewDEAL's Ideas Resource Hub.