WASHINGTON — As infrastructure increasingly plays a key role in investment decisions nationwide, Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. has expanded its transportation banking team and added to its Northeast staff.

The new hires are part of an overall growth effort, said David Holleran, the firm’s fixed-income chief administrative officer. Piper Jaffray is now the top local government general obligation underwriter in New England, he said.

The 115-year-old investment firm announced in April it hired John Coan, a former principal and transportation banker at Banc of America, to build a national transportation practice. Recently, the firm hired two more transportation bankers, David H. Klinges Jr. and David Kiley, two regionally focused public finance bankers, Greg LiCalzi and David Barr, and a senior municipal underwriter, Pete Druhot.

Klinges and Kiley joined the firm’s New York office two weeks ago, as managing director and vice president of the transportation practice.

Before joining Piper, Klinges was managing director of public finance at Mesirow Financial and, prior to that, managed the public-private ventures group at Bear Stearns. He was involved in financing ventures including the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project in Virginia, which is now under construction.

 The rail line will connect the District of Columbia and northern Virginia with the Dulles International Airport. It is being built by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority but will be operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“I think it’s a very good example of a project that wouldn’t have gone forward without a private-sector proposal to fund it,” Klinges said. He worked to develop the financing plan, under which the MWAA uses funds generated from Dulles Toll Road revenues. The project also is partly funded by state bonds issued by Virginia.

Looking toward future projects, Klinges said he wants Piper Jaffray’s transportation practice to be involved in the effort to toll Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have been seeking approval for two years from the Federal Highway Administration to toll the road.

Like Klinges, Kiley came to Piper Jaffray from Mesirow Financial, and before that was at Bear Stearns.

In addition to the transportation team, Piper added regionally focused public finance bankers in August to concentrate on middle-market governmental and nonprofit issuers in New York and New Jersey.

LiCalzi and Barr both joined the firm’s Northeastern team as senior vice presidents, coming from TD Securities.

The firm’s new senior muni underwriter, Druhot, joined two months ago from his post as lead underwriter at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Before that was a senior underwriter at UBS Securities.

“Over the past 18 months, we have hired 19 senior professionals, bringing our total public finance team to over 120,” said Frank Fairman, head of public finance services. “Piper Jaffray now has a meaningful presence in these key markets.”

The firm is “open to adding to [the transportation] team,” said Holleran, but believes it has “a solid team” with the new additions.

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