CHICAGO — The U.S. market for public-private partnerships remains small and fragmented, marred by hurdles like clashing legislation and political controversy, in contrast to Canada and Europe, panelists said at The Bond Buyer’s Transportation/P3 Conference here.

After a slow 2011, market participants said the national P3 sector faces a crucial juncture, as more states assemble advisory teams to identify alternative capital sources to offset shrinking public funds as observers watch the outcome of projects that are in the pipeline.

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