ENGINEERING NEWS

Northwestern Transportation Center to Host Sixth William O. Lipinski Symposium

Jan. 28 symposium to focus on challenges, opportunities of public-private partnerships

The sixth William O. Lipinski Symposium on Transportation Policy & Strategy, hosted by the Northwestern University Transportation Center, will be held Monday, January 28, 2013, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

The topic will be “Private Money for Public Infrastructure: Promises, Pitfalls, and the Path Forward.” Public-private partnerships are innovative arrangements for offering financial incentives for private investment in public infrastructure and for sharing cost, revenue, and performance risks among business and government.

The Hon. Jerry F. Costello, former U.S. representative for Illinois’ 12th congressional district, will deliver the keynote address from 8:30 to 9 a.m.

Forrest Claypool, president of the Chicago Transit Authority, will be presented with the David F. Schulz Award for Infrastructure Policy. Claypool is being recognized for his decisive leadership of the Chicago Transit Authority, which has led to an aggressive program to bring CTA infrastructure to a state of good repair. He will receive his award at 12:30 p.m. and deliver remarks during lunch. The David F. Schulz Award for Outstanding Public Service in Transportation and Infrastructure Policy is named for the late Dave Schulz, founding director of the Infrastructure Technology Institute.

The symposium is targeted to members of the transportation community and others interested in transportation policy and strategy issues. Symposium panelists will discuss the benefits and risks of public-private partnerships for financing transportation infrastructure in Chicago, Illinois and the nation; describe examples of successful partnerships; and suggest conditions, actions and policies for maximizing the value of these partnerships to ensure effective and efficient transportation systems.

“Attracting private money and profit-driven incentives to public infrastructure projects is an attractive path for bringing transportation facilities to a state of good repair,” said Joseph Schofer, who will moderate a number of the symposium’s panels. “This conference will introduce us to the concept, showcase specific applications and provide an opportunity to explore some of the benefits and risks these partnerships bring.” Schofer is director of Northwestern’s Infrastructure Technology Institute and professor of civil and environmental engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Featured speakers and panel members will include:

  • U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, Illinois, 12th district (retired)
  • Matthew K. Rose, chairman and CEO, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
  • J. Dennis Hastert, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Richard Clarke, assistant general manager of capital programs, Denver Regional Transportation District (speaking on the Eagle P3 project)
  • Adrian Moore, vice president for policy, the Reason Foundation 
  • Greg Ciambrone, the Walsh Group (speaking on the East End Crossing of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project)
  • Fernando Redondo, chief executive officer, Chicago Skyway
  • Randall S. Blankenhorn, executive director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
  • Peter Skosey, vice president, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Hani Mahmassani, director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center


The symposium is named after William O. Lipinski, a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives who served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The event will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, in Evanston. Online registration and more detailed information are available at www.transportation.northwestern.edu/lipinski. The registration fee is $45.