New Initiative to Address Infrastructure Gaps in the Intermountain Region

Photo of IMX kickoff meeting

Dean Teske welcomes meeting attendees.

The Buechner Institute for Governance, the applied research arm of the School of Public Affairs, announced the formation of an Intermountain Infrastructure Exchange (IMX) to address the well documented infrastructure gap in the United States. A kickoff meeting for the initiative was held in Denver on Nov. 17, 2015.

Made possible by a $250,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, IMX is a collaborative effort supported by the governors from Colorado, Utah and other intermountain west states to leverage public-private partnerships to shore up the shortfall in infrastructure funding. In its first year, the Exchange will be led by an advisory board composed of representatives appointed by the governors.

IMX will help find new and innovative ways to deliver and finance infrastructure by connecting public and private entities to spur investment in needed projects. Initially, it will assist in the development of water-related infrastructure investment by providing timely data and information. The effort will also extend to other infrastructure sectors, including transportation, broadband, energy and public facilities.

“As Colorado looks ahead to the future needs of a growing and dynamic state, the Intermountain Infrastructure Exchange will be an important forum to discuss how Colorado and other surrounding states can provide collaborative and innovative solutions to meeting our infrastructure needs,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

IMX will be modeled after the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange as a multi-state partnership that addresses capital project reform. IMX will serve to promote resiliency and accelerate innovation, investment information, best practices, regional alignment, and learning across a wide range of interested institutions and stakeholders who share the same aim but are working under different mandates and constraints.

“Issues of infrastructure development and financing are critical to the growth and resilience of our intermountain region,” said Paul Teske, dean of the School of Public Affairs. “CU Denver and the Buechner Institute for Governance are committed to helping facilitate a positive dialogue on how we address our critical national and regional infrastructure investment needs. We are excited to support and help develop the Intermountain Exchange.”

An important part of the work will be to identify a regional pipeline of needed projects that are not being addressed through traditional financing and performance approaches. IMX will reach out to other regional exchanges in 2015-2016 to learn and transfer knowledge that will inform its strategic plan and the overall design of the intermountain exchange.

The IMX will initially be housed within the Buechner Institute for Governance. Senior staff from the Buechner Institute and CU Denver faculty members will oversee the IMX initiative. IMX and the Buechner Institute will share their understanding and experience with stakeholders, public and private organizations, and the media to support knowledge sharing.

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