Public-private partnerships (P3s) I believe are a critical tool to meeting our infrastructure deficits (not the complete answer, but an important tool). Unfortunately, I encounter lots of people who've heard bad stories and are leery. Naturally, the good stories don't make the press. But, there ARE good stories, and lessons we can all learn as a result.
The key, according to this article, is the 'partnership' aspect - being open and supportive of all parties' goals. We need to stop the typical arms-length, adversarial relationship between public & private entities I see so often, and really focus on developing and improving the soft aspects, the non-contractual aspects, yes, the partnership.
. . . when we examined what led to productive working relationship over the life of these projects, we found they had three things in common: a commitment to a strong partnership beyond the terms of the contract; built-in mechanisms to share perspectives about the project (especially problems and concerns); and effective ways to rebound from failures to deliver.