TXDOT moving ahead for toll concession on SH183/Airport Freeway from Dallas Ft Worth Airport east to I-35E near Dallas CBD
2012-08-14: Texas DOT has a request for qualifications from teams interested in a toll concession for upgrading another 9 miles of SH183 Airport Freeway in Dallas County from SH161 near the airport east nearly to I-35E. To start with there is a modest single toll lanes each direction but that is to grow to 2x3 and 2x2 toll express or managed lanes.
Colorado DOT and a so called High Performance Transportation Enterprise of the state are seeking private sector proposals for improving travel in the I-70 Mountain Corridor west of Denver toward Silverthorne, Vail and Eagle. They are looking for competitive proposals to an unsolicited proposal from transit specialist Parsons.
S1230 "Protecting Taxpayers in Transportation Asset Transfers Act" is being pushed by Democrats in the US Senate. It's a bill that seems likely to seriously handicap any state efforts to concession out government owned tollroads. It would give the US SEcretary of Transportation broad powers to approve or disallow any state or local road concession where there some US Government funding in its past.
Toll finance consultant Robert Bain says investors now consider toll revenue lending less risky many places than government-backed contracts like 'shadow tolls' and 'availability payments' for roads.
The Federal Highway Administration has now done two 180 degree turns on the trivial issue of whether federal research grant money amounting to $1.5m can be used to study options for the Ohio Turnpike that include a longterm lease/concession, public-private partnership or 'privatization.'
They gave the OK in granting the money earlier in the year. Then two weeks ago at the behest of leftist politicians wanting to keep the Turnpike a unionized state enterprise they effectively nixed the grant saying it couldn't be used for study of privatization.
Democrat Party politicians in Ohio are moving hard left trying to block even the study of the leasing of the Turnpike to investor groups. Such public private partnership (PPP or P3) arrangements have previously enjoyed bipartisan support and indeed Democrats have been as keen to make use of them as Republicans.
We've given too much publicity here to schemes for mileage-based user fees (MBUFs) or vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) charges. Those acronyms MBUFs or VMT fees are just proposals for comprehensive tolls - tolls on virtually all roads. We say we've given too much publicity to them, not because they aren't important, or don't make sense as substitutes for the old fuel taxes, but because they aren't going anywhere.
A Goldman Sachs, Abertis joint venture has been chosen with a bid of $1.08 billion by the state government of Puerto Rico as the preferred operator to run the PR22/PR5 toll road combo under a 40 year concesssion. New York based Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners II (GS) will have 55% equity and Barcelona Spain based Abertis 45%. Abertis will be the operator.
Georgia DOT are close to formally calling for proposals for toll or 'managed lanes' in the I-75/I-575 corridors northwest of downtown Atlanta. Their quiet procurement of a toll concessionaire has already selected three groups as qualified to make proposals. They are some of the biggest international groups in the toll concession business:
Nevada state senator Joe Hardy (Repub) seems to be successfully advancing enabling legislation to allow a request for proposals (RFP) for private sector funding of a Boulder City Bypass tollroad. The bypass would provide 2x2 lanes of expressway around the southside of Boulder City for US93 the major route between the Las Vegas metro area (Clark Co 1.95m people) and Phoenix AZ (Maricopa Co 3.82m pop).