Big money lines up for infrastructure outsourcing

Large private equity groups such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group and Credit Suisse have built funds estimated at $250 billion to finance infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas, the New York Times reports.

As federal, state and local governments struggle with deficits and crumbling infrastructure, the idea of privatizing roads, bridges and airports is becoming more palatable.

"Budget gaps are starting to increase the viability of public-private partnerships," Norman Mineta, former secretary of transportation, told the newspaper. He was recently hired by Credit Suisse as a senior advisor.

Midway Airport in Chicago could become the first facility to be taken over by private investors. Outside of Washington, D.C., a $1.9 billion public-private partnership is financing high-occupancy toll lanes. And this week, the state of Florida opened the way for six groups, including J.P. Morgan, Lehman Brothers and the Carlyle Group to bid on a 50- to 75-year lease of the toll road known as Alligator Alley.

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