Skip to comments.I-66 tolls a good idea for Northern Virginia
Posted on 01/05/2017 8:00:41 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
As states and municipalities around the nation struggle to find ways to afford much-needed improvements to aging and congested roadways, the Commonwealth of Virginia has established itself as an innovative leader when it comes to carefully prioritizing the states transportation investments and wisely leveraging private sector resources to ensure the best deal for state taxpayers.
The I-66 Outside the Beltway project exemplifies this leadership, and Cintra, together with its partner Meridiam, is proud to be part of the team selected by the Commonwealth to finance, design, build, operate and maintain this more than $3 billion transformative project at no cost to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Extending 22 miles along the Interstate 66 Corridor between US Route 29 near Gainesville, in Prince William County and Interstate 495 in Fairfax County, the project includes three toll free general purpose lanes and two express managed lanes in each direction. New and expanded transit service, park-and-ride lots and interchange enhancements will further improve travel along I-66.
All will be privately financed by the consortium, which will also pay the Commonwealth an upfront payment of approximately $500 million, plus an additional $800 million for transit services, and even another $350 million for further corridor improvements over the duration of the 50-year concession lease.
According to the Commonwealth, this all adds up to not only a new state of the art roadway, but also a $2.5 billion net savings for Virginia
We understand the importance of this critical regional project, which earned the top ranking on the Commonwealths data-driven transportation priority list based on its potential to significantly reduce congestion and improve accessibility in the region. And we are confident that we can deliver the results that the people of Virginia demand and deserve.
Cintra, a subsidiary of Ferrovial, has been a global leader in private transportation infrastructure development for nearly 50 years and today has a portfolio consisting of more than 1,200 miles of managed highways around the world including nearly $8 billion in US assets alone.
In 2014, a Cintra and Meridiam-led consortium successfully delivered the $2.1 billion North Tarrant Express managed lanes project nine months ahead of schedule in the Dallas-Fort Worth area while keeping 13 miles of major highway open to more than 200,000 vehicles a day during construction. The project has doubled the existing road capacity in one of the countrys fastest growing and most congested regions.
One year later, we delivered the new and improved 13.3-mile LBJ Express three months ahead of schedule in Dallas. The $2.6 billionmanaged lane expansion project now serves more than 270,000 vehicles a day and time spent in congestion has decreased by 60 percent in the non-tolled lanes.
Both projects have high customer service ratings. In 2015, 78 percent of North Tarrant Express customers were happy with how the highway is maintained, compared to just 50 percent when Cintra began managing the roadway. On the LBJ Express, 76 percent of users view the express lanes favorably, a 46 percent jump in driver satisfaction compared to before the lanes opened in 2013.
Transform 66 Outside the Beltway is the first major procurement to follow Virginias reformed Public-Private Partnership (P3) process that was designed to increase accountability, transparency and competition in P3 projects.
As the Commonwealth has noted, P3s are a powerful tool for enabling new projects, but they only work if taxpayers interests are protected. Virginia taxpayers can be assured that their state leaders are tough negotiators and that the public interest will be protected in this deal.
If the roadway underperforms financially for the investors, there is no financial impact to the Commonwealth. Virginia will also retain the ability to protect the public interest through a comprehensive lease agreement regulating the design, construction and maintenance standards, among many other issues.
When the proposed lease expires in 2066, the lanes will be returned to Virginia in pristine condition without any cost to the Commonwealth.
We are honored to have taken part in this competitive and transparent procurement process led by Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne and the many visionary officials of the Commonwealth.
Cintra is proud of our record of partnering with state and local governments around the world to deliver superior roadways with the latest innovations in transportation more efficiently and affordably than the public sector can do alone. As is our practice, we look forward to putting more than 100 local firms to work during construction of this important project.
There is a lot of work ahead to help improve this roadway to better connect families and commerce in this vitally important region of the United States. We are excited to be your partner, and are eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work for the people of Virginia.
U.S. VP of Corporate Affairs, Cintra
Just imagine how many improvements could have been made already if states and municipalities didn't use fuel taxes as a slush fund for budget deficits in other areas and for the 'green' madness of choo-choo trains, streetcars, etc.
So leasing public roadways to private companies, then charging tolls for use of formerly free roads, is a good thing for the taxpayers who paid the taxes to build and maintain the roads in the first place??
Why is it even legal to lease out public infrastructure in the first place?
What am I missing?
Translation: We are pleased to have funded the campaigns of many Democrats in order to gain favor, and look forward to shaking down you poor schlubs into perpetuity like the Greenway.
Ya what’s going on here? We already pay some steep federal and state gas taxes, which are supposed to be dedicated to road construction and maintenance.
Why the need to lease out the roads to get cash, supposedly for the maintenance of these roads, when we already are paying taxes for that purpose every time we get gas???
Tolls are never a good idea.
So the VP of Corporate Affairs for a company that runs toll roads thinks its a good idea for Virginia to lease a freeway out to become a toll road.
In other news, Apple thinks that cell phones are a good idea.
I don’t want to pay “to significantly reduce congestion and improve accessibility in the region” of NOVA.
I’d be willing to pay some to INCREASE congestion in the region... a nice canal around DC would be very ecological.
Good for some newts, turtles and grouse!
Interstate highways are not intended to be privately operated.
These people really need to be shot.
“These people really need to be shot.”
Shot after weeks of intensive torture.
Pretty pathetic to publish a press release as a letter to the editor. This belongs in a paid advertisement rather than the editorial page. And publishers wonder why their readership is declining.
“Tolls are never a good idea.”
Outgoing NC Governor McCrory (R) may be realizing this. His Rte. 77 toll road plan (Charlotte) was predicted to result in his defeat even before the bathroom bill became an issue. NC contracted with Cintra, same company McAwful got for the NoVA job. Cintra is a division of Ferrovial, headquartered in Madrid, Spain. Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniel contracted with same for the Indiana toll road. Result was bankruptcy. Current contract appears to be jointly with an Australian firm and
Ferrovial. In any case, profits go to other countries.
Mores taxes. Politicians exempted of course.
Look at how governments at all level spend the money they receive in these taxes. Here in the DC Metro area, our public transportation system costs $2 billion to operate annually, which is taken from the Federal and County governments surrounding DC.
Rather than using this money to build, operate, and maintain the public transportation system the funds are intended to pay for, the political leadership of these agencies (falsely advertised as "private companies") pay 80% of the funds to the calcified Union workers as constant salary increases and gold-plated retirement plans. Which helps guarantee that the Union workers will perpetually vote for the politicians who are lining their pockets, because who would ever vote to receive LESS of other people's money???
Someone really needs to burn our transportation funding institutions in this country TO THE GROUND, and start over with a consumer-oriented focus. Until we're willing to do that, and destroy the incompetent unions that have ruined departments of transportation nationwide, I do not expect us to ever recover.
Without drastic change, we as a nation are, sadly, for the most part done. Just like every "empire" that's ever lived.
During the transfer process a lot of money is congregated in one spot. “Processing & Handling” and “Legal” fees are much easier to siphon off at this point.
Don’t forget “Finders” fees to be paid “down the road” (no, not down I-66) and under the table.
(Man, I’m becoming cynical...)
Toll roads are huge political scams. Built and maintained with your tax dollars then you’ve got to pay to use them. And the politicians who get them rammed through retire with platinum parachutes.
All of the secondary roads in Fairfax will become parking lots.
If they aren’t already.
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