The Abertis-Citi current offer of $12.8 billion for a 75 year lease/concession of the Pennsylvania Turnpike expires next Tuesday Sept 30, and signs are it won't be extended. Last week a senior officer of the two companies was saying that without movement on enabling legislation this month, they were done.
Here's a commentary from Lowman S. Henry, head of the Lincoln Institute running on Pennsylvania radio on the tolling of I-80 and the future of the Turnpike. We agree much of his general drift, but think he's got a lot of things wrong, so our comments in parentheses make a debate.
Henry's headline: "Wrong Again: Leasing turnpike not only solution to PA's roads and bridge funding woes"
Following the Federal No to tolling I-80 on Thursday (2008-09-11) Governor Ed Rendell immediately called for enabling legislation to proceed with the agreed lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Abertis/Citi team which has a $12.8 billion offer in effect until Sept 30. Rendell says "It's the only plan." He says without it the state is back into financial crisis.
Abertis-Citi teamed to run the Pennsylvania Turnpike concession if Governor Rendell gets support from the legislature next month will be releasing a Turnpike reform manifesto next week. Speaking from a car phone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike which kept losing signal - and provoked exasperated curses for the Turnpike's "outdated" technology - the concessionaire's chief lobbyist Jim Courtovich told us the group is releasing a Turnpike reform manifesto.
The Wall Street Journal whose reporting of the toll business is generally sparse today (pA1 2008-08-26) frontpaged the proposed $12.8b toll concession of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Reporter Craig Karmin apparently got in to talk to the main champion state governor Ed Rendell who told him that leasing the Turnpike "is a decided underdog."
A Brisa, CCR, JPMorgan team titled A2 Transportation Partners (A2TP) topped the score in a rating of firms qualifications for the Alligator Alley toll concession in Florida. A2TP was followed by Cintra-led team (Everglades Parkway Partners) and Atlantia the big Italian motorway operator previously named Autostrade. Brisa is the leading toll motorway operator in Portugal and CCR in Brazil.
Pennsylvania Transportation Partners comprising Abertis (58.3%) and Citi (41.7%) have extended their offer to the state of Pennsylvania of $12.8 billion for a 75 year lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to September 30. The extension is designed to give the state legislature time to enact enabling legislation in their short Fall session mid-September.
Turnpike Commission CEO Joe Brimmeier has declined a challenge from the lease representative Jim Courtovich to debate the lease in public forums. He said in a hand delivered letter to Pennsylvania Transportation Partners that he wouldn't debate because the state legislature would decide the issue.
Turnpike Commission supporters in the Pennsylvania legislature made an odd move Wednesday - introducing a measure which if passed would have instructed the Governor and state ("Commonwealth") officials to execute the Concession and Lease Agreement announced May 19th. The move was easily defeated by 185 to 12.
See a text nearby.
Eight firms submitted qualifications in the first stage of a longterm lease of the 125km (78 mile) I-75 east-west tollroad from the Miami area to Naples Florida.
The eight are:
- Atlantia (formerly Autostada) & ETC