Patrick Harder Named Chair of Nossaman's Infrastructure Practice Group

Nossaman Partner Patrick D. Harder has been named Chair of the Firm's Infrastructure Practice Group. He takes the reins from Partner Geoffrey S. Yarema, who has been Chair of the group since its founding, two years of which he co-chaired with Patrick.

Patrick Harder has over 25 years of legal experience in the construction industry, with a particular focus on large scale civil works projects procured through innovative procurement processes. From managing cutting edge procurements for public agencies to prosecuting and defending construction claims, he has an in-depth knowledge of successful, large scale construction projects.  His projects range from complex public works such as the Port of Miami Tunnel and Gerald Desmond Bridge, to high profile commercial buildings such as the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  In 2011 and 2012, Chambers and Partners recognized him as a leading lawyer nationally in the field of public-private partnerships and described him as a "reasonable yet strong defender of his client's position" who has a "wealth of practical knowledge."

As Geoffrey steps down from the practice group leadership role, he will continue to build on his reputation as a nationally recognized leader in infrastructure development and finance. He has pioneered innovative procurement, contracting, and financing structures for large public works projects throughout North America and is an essential advisor to public agencies seeking to make effective use of innovative forms of contracts including: design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, toll concession, availability payment, pre-development, and other kinds of public-private partnerships. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Chambers and Partners recognized him as a leading lawyer nationally in the field of public-private partnerships, describing him as one of the "most influential attorneys in the business" and "the dominant player in PPP work in the USA."

Nossaman’s Infrastructure expertise extends across a range of industry sectors including transportation, water, energy, telecommunications, and healthcare on projects ranging from bridges and highways, to water treatment plants and hospitals. From the first modern California toll roads developed in the 1990s, to precedent-setting turnpike projects in Texas, to the recent Presidio Parkway PPP project in California, Nossaman has worked on almost every major innovatively-financed transportation infrastructure project in the United States.

Transportation For America's Review of Deficient Bridges

We all know that our infrastructure is aging.  Considering how hot the issue of transportation funding (or lack thereof) has become, it is almost impossible not to see or hear something on this topic daily.  That being said, Transportation for America has provided a new way for us to fixate on the state of disrepair of our nation’s bridges – an interactive map. 

The map is color-coded and uses green to mark states that are more-or-less maintaining their bridges.  A special hats off to Florida and Nevada, which rank 50th and 51st respectively in the list of disrepair.  In contrast, the map uses a deep, ominous red – something akin to a scarlet letter - to mark states whose transportation dollars just aren’t going far enough.  Pennsylvania and Oklahoma get the dubious honor of being coded red, with 26.5% and 22.0% of their bridges being deficient respectively.

Once you have taken a look at how the states stack up against each other, you may want to click on the “Near You” button above the map.  This allows you to insert any address and locate deficient bridges within a 10-mile radius.  Depending on where you look, this can be relatively shocking.

Whether you are looking at the interactive map or using the “Near You” function, you should note that if you scroll down Transportation for America has provided a more detailed chart showing the percent of bridge traffic going over deficient bridges.  This twist on the information can be quite interesting.  For example, though California is only in 18th place on the overall list of deficient bridges, the chart shows that California has the 3rd highest rate of total bridge traffic going over deficient bridges (indicating that California’s deficient bridges are in high demand).

Railroad Infrastructure Veteran Kevin Sheys Joins Nossaman as Partner

Kevin M. Sheys joins Nossaman's Infrastructure Practice Group as a partner.  He brings expertise in all areas of railroad transportation, including all aspects of the rail industry, both freight and passenger.  His extensive experience includes successfully representing government entities in railroad construction and relocation projects, advising states and transportation agencies in publicly-funded passenger rail service expansions and infrastructure projects, assisting buyers and sellers in rail line transactions, and counseling clients on a wide range of rail regulatory issues.

Kevin has represented a wide variety of railroad-related entities including:

  • Commuter railroads
  • State sponsors of intercity passenger service
  • Short line and regional freight railroads
  • Public transit agencies
  • Transportation industry contractors and equipment suppliers
  • Ports and other industrial and transportation facility operators

Kevin will be based in the Nossaman's Washington, DC office and work nationally.  He
can be reached at 202.887.1420 or ksheys@nossaman.com.