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Broke Texas Turns to Private Toll Roads
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth ^ | Friday, July 23, 2010 | Scott Gordon

Posted on 07/24/2010 4:20:59 PM PDT by Willie Green

Private investors to build large-scale for-profit toll

Faced with growing highway congestion and a lack of tax money for road projects, Texas is turning to a group of investors to build private toll roads as a way to ease the gridlock.

Construction is set to start soon on two such projects -- the North Tarrant Express along Loop 820 and Highways 183 and 121 in Tarrant County and the LBJ Express along Highway 635 in North Dallas.

Critics say the move amounts to a privatization of an essential government function -- building and maintaining highways -- and that drivers will end up paying far more in the long run.

Backers of the idea say the state has few other options in a time of whopping budget deficits.

"We provide the funding to actually build this project,” said Robert Hinkle, spokesman for NTE Mobility Partners, which represents a number of companies involved in the project. “We bring it to fruition in less than five years, we open the road, we manage it and operate it for the 52-year contract.”

The state does provide roughly a quarter of the upfront money, he said.

The investors, led by a Spanish company called Cintra, collect the tolls over those 52 years and keep the profits.

(Excerpt) Read more at nbcdfw.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Texas
KEYWORDS:
They're baaaack....
1 posted on 07/24/2010 4:21:01 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: AuntB

ping


2 posted on 07/24/2010 4:22:21 PM PDT by Willie Green (Save Money: Build High-Speed Rail & Maglev and help permanently ground Air Force One!!!)
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To: Willie Green

“broke” texas was named the top state in the country for business. nit-picking on roads is missing the point.


3 posted on 07/24/2010 4:22:57 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: Willie Green
What could go wrong?
Sued over crash, Toll Road firm claims immunity
4 posted on 07/24/2010 4:31:25 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: JohnBrowdie

Yeah, if Texas is “broke” then states like California and New York should be “deceased”.

Highway taxes have been largely collected by the feds and redistributed by them. Lately, Texas has been told they’ve been in the pipeline for public highway funds in the latter half of the decade and Texas is saying “we can’t wait that long” so they have been looking at a number of alternatives to get more highways built faster and that has included privately-financed toll roads.

Texas is far better off financially than most states of their size. That they haven’t chosen to invest in highways with state tax money is no sign that they are “broke”.


5 posted on 07/24/2010 4:36:19 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (Washington, we Texans want a divorce!)
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To: Willie Green

And STILL BETTER THAN RAIL...


6 posted on 07/24/2010 4:37:22 PM PDT by kosciusko51
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To: OrangeHoof

michigan probably has great roads. or at least constant work on their roads. and it’s still an economic wasteland.


7 posted on 07/24/2010 4:38:28 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: OrangeHoof

For you conspiracy theorists out there, Cintra was also the company Gov. Perry had enlisted to build the Trans-Texas Corridor which now appears dead in the water.


8 posted on 07/24/2010 4:39:10 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (Washington, we Texans want a divorce!)
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To: Willie Green
Wille apparently they are so broke that they have quit mowing the roadways as best as I can tell. Many of the major roadways are grown up with weeds and grass and don't appear to have been mowed all this year. Maybe Perry can induce Obama to give him a few more stimulus dollars to at least mow them once this year.
9 posted on 07/24/2010 4:39:35 PM PDT by deport
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To: Willie Green

Anybody got any dimes?

10 posted on 07/24/2010 4:40:56 PM PDT by Gumption
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To: JohnBrowdie

Do you live in Michigan? Last time I was on 27, it wasn’t great...


11 posted on 07/24/2010 4:44:24 PM PDT by delapaz
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To: Willie Green

I would think Texas could afford some roads given all the money they save on a. not having to plow and patch in the winter and b. not bothering to put roofs on the rest area bathrooms.


12 posted on 07/24/2010 4:46:00 PM PDT by delapaz
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To: delapaz
Do you live in Michigan? Last time I was on 27, it wasn’t great...

nope. the only time I was in michigan, it was because another airport was snowed in. I was making a bit of a rhetorical point.

13 posted on 07/24/2010 4:47:28 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: JohnBrowdie

I guess Michigan had roads to no where before they knew they did.


14 posted on 07/24/2010 4:50:10 PM PDT by Jane Long (America, while you were sleeping the Socialists took over.)
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To: Jane Long
I guess Michigan had roads to no where before they knew they did.

any road that leads to detriot (sic) is a "road to nowhere" ;)

15 posted on 07/24/2010 4:55:28 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: JohnBrowdie

Maybe they would not be broke if they did not have to provide for the illegals.


16 posted on 07/24/2010 4:58:01 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: JohnBrowdie

Exactly :) Sad, but true.


17 posted on 07/24/2010 5:01:19 PM PDT by Jane Long (America, while you were sleeping the Socialists took over.)
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To: OrangeHoof

Not dead, just rebranded.


18 posted on 07/24/2010 5:02:17 PM PDT by Jedidah
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To: Brilliant

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!


19 posted on 07/24/2010 5:23:57 PM PDT by rickb308 (Muslims need to check with Native Americans & ask how that whole cowboys & indians thing worked out.)
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To: Brilliant

“Maybe they would not be broke if they did not have to provide for the illegals.”

Yep. Or Fort Worth garbage can police.


20 posted on 07/24/2010 5:52:54 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Willie Green

The Dallas-FW area has had toll roads for years, as has Houston. If you don’t want to pay, go the FREEway.


21 posted on 07/24/2010 5:56:53 PM PDT by lonestar (Barry is furious the big spill wasn't caused by EXXON...would have nationalized it by now.)
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To: JohnBrowdie
any road that leads to detriot (sic) is a "road to nowhere" ;)

Not true! Keep going, and you get to Canada!
22 posted on 07/24/2010 5:59:33 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
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To: JohnBrowdie

Willie’s just lettin’ off steam. He’s never seen private investment in infrastructure that he didn’t hate.


23 posted on 07/24/2010 6:06:50 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky; Willie Green

“Willie’s just lettin’ off steam. He’s never seen private investment in infrastructure that he didn’t hate.”

Well some of us have a BIG PROBLEM when a private company is given a MONOPOLY and protected by competition by the FORCE OF LAW. It’s no different than electric and phone utilities (until recently), except people back then had ENOUGH BRAINS to regulate what they charge.


24 posted on 07/24/2010 6:32:22 PM PDT by BobL (The whole point of being human is knowing when the party's over.)
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To: BobL
The extent to which a toll road built and maintained without the exaction of taxes (and now privately operated) holds a "monopoly" over the general tax supported highway system is a testament to the advantage of private investment in infrastructure.

As an aside TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS DOESN'T MAKE A POST SEEM ANY SMARTER.

25 posted on 07/24/2010 6:47:23 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: deport

Mr. Deport...

I haven’t seen a post from you since Goodhair backed down on the TTC, but I wasn’t looking real hard either...

Normally if DOT is doing its job correctly, mowing is suspended during the wildflower season until the plants have gone to seed; we have just entered into that part of the year and the mowers have been by our frontage along a state highway.

This is one of the reasons Texas is not broke. It should do your heart good to know that Cintra is still going to make a buck or two...


26 posted on 07/24/2010 7:15:34 PM PDT by CenTex (Thanks San Francisco, I needed a reason to revisit Arizona...)
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To: CenTex

Naw Texas isn’t broke just some estimated $18 billion in the red for the upcoming budget session. It will be interesting to see what the good Gov. comes up with to make up the differences. Maybe Obama will give him some more stimulus money to balance the budget with like last time around. If not we will be in for some cut backs and raises in fees/services/taxes I’d guess.

Wildflowers, maybe, But the areas I’m most familiar with don’t have the bluebonnets, indian paintbrush, blackeyed susans and others they plant. What I’m seeing is weeds, etc.


27 posted on 07/24/2010 7:40:28 PM PDT by deport
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To: Willie Green
How is this a bad idea?

With toll roads, you've got:

1. less congestion, for you've got to pay for the usage
2. no drain on the public coffers (ie: road maintenance is handled by the company running the road)
3. better road quality (less traffic coupled with the understanding that if it does get bad, then the company will lose out on customers who begin to avoid it)
4. more rapid expansion to meet increasing road usage (for this would be for profit... and what company, faced with an increasing demand would not try to ramp up supply to meet it?)

Heck, if more roads were privatized, we might actually see a reduction in the ever increasing amount of traffic congestion we are currently facing in America.

28 posted on 07/24/2010 11:42:50 PM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: gogogodzilla

Heck, if more roads were privatized, we might actually see a reduction in the ever increasing amount of traffic congestion we are currently facing in America.

Where does that traffic congestion go? It doesn't magically disappear. The traffic moves to ancillary roads and through neighborhoods instead of remaining on the main thoroughfares. In the San Antonio Area, the plans were to turn major highways on the north, northeast, and northwest side into toll roads. These roads were built using taxpayer dollars. What it would amount to is the transfer of public infrastructure to a private company for profit.

The TTC debacle of a few years ago amounted to a land grab, where property was to be snatched from the owners for a pittance and sold to Cintra-Zachary (Cintra being a foreign owned company) for a pipe dream.  


29 posted on 07/25/2010 1:02:43 AM PDT by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: gogogodzilla
How is this a bad idea?

Toll roads are a great idea, IF they are operated by a government agency.
If the toll roads are operated by a government agency, you get not only all the benefits that you mention, but any extra toll revenue collected can help FILL the public coffers and help reduce other types of taxation.

It is privatization of toll roads that is bad because the extra toll revenues (essentially a monopoly tax on drivers who use the road) get sucked out of the state to be used in some foreign country.

30 posted on 07/25/2010 2:51:49 AM PDT by Willie Green (Save Money: Build High-Speed Rail & Maglev and help permanently ground Air Force One!!!)
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To: Willie Green

Willie...take a look when you get a chance and you will notice there are things available called frontage roads that are FREE. Use them and save yourself from fretting about issues that are obviously too complex for you to understand about public and private sector improvements of infrastructure. Deport you need to take a look as well...oh I forgot...wouldn’t make any difference to you because you don’t like much of anything, anywhere, anytime!


31 posted on 07/25/2010 3:04:02 AM PDT by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Willie...take a look when you get a chance and you will notice there are things available called frontage roads that are FREE.

There is no such thing as a "free" road.
ALL roads must be paid for (both construction AND maintenance) through either tolls and/or taxes.
This should be a state/local government function, because all funds collected then remain within the state for local use.
Tolls and/or gas taxes should NOT be federalized or privatized because then the money disappears out of the local/state economy and gets funneled somewhere else.

Eliminate the federal gas tax.
Eliminate highway privatization.

Texas can collect its own tolls and build its own highways and railways without foreigners doing it for us.

32 posted on 07/25/2010 3:48:19 AM PDT by Willie Green (Save Money: Build High-Speed Rail & Maglev and help permanently ground Air Force One!!!)
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To: Gumption

LOL! Well-played.


33 posted on 07/25/2010 3:54:24 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (No Representation without Taxation!)
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To: deport
Maybe Perry can induce Obama to give him a few more stimulus dollars to at least mow them once this year.

Or perhaps Gov Goodhair can trim his own state barber budget and use those funds to whack the weeds.

34 posted on 07/25/2010 4:06:26 AM PDT by Willie Green (Save Money: Build High-Speed Rail & Maglev and help permanently ground Air Force One!!!)
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To: Mr. Lucky

“The extent to which a toll road built and maintained without the exaction of taxes (and now privately operated) holds a “monopoly” over the general tax supported highway system is a testament to the advantage of private investment in infrastructure.”

Your post makes ZERO SENSE. And by the way, what the heck does EXACTION OF TAXES mean?


35 posted on 07/25/2010 9:59:43 AM PDT by BobL (The whole point of being human is knowing when the party's over.)
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To: deport

One of the reasons we chose our home was that it was on a paved FM road. There was a second house that we were eying, but the road settled the decision. (hubby had a harley back then)

A few months after we moved in road crews came in and tore the road out. We were fine with that. The original road had a lot of pot holes.

What did they replace it with?

GRAVEL.

The wear and tear on our vehicles is obvious. This has to have an effect on our property values.

Not impressed.


36 posted on 07/25/2010 10:01:37 AM PDT by Marie (Obama seems to think that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since Camp David, not King David)
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To: Marie

Replacing hard surfaces with gravel seems to be a process being adopted around the country. I read an article this procedure just recently. It may have been a thread on FR I just don’t remember. But the process sucks there’s no doubt about it for many reasons.


37 posted on 07/25/2010 10:07:17 AM PDT by deport
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To: Marie
Here's a couple of FR threads on the graveling of roads;


38 posted on 07/25/2010 10:10:41 AM PDT by deport
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To: Sarajevo

That ain’t right. In my understanding, a toll road doesn’t exist until a company bids for the right to build one.

Then they pony up the cash and build it, which then they get to recoup the costs and then turn a profit over a number of years.

Since the road in question didn’t exist previously, you’d see and increase in the amount of available roadspace, thus reducing congestion for everyone (as some would choose to pay the toll and drive on the new road).

Which would lead to less cars on the freeway... and less cars on the toll road in comparison to the freeway.


39 posted on 07/25/2010 5:49:18 PM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: gogogodzilla
That ain’t right. In my understanding, a toll road doesn’t exist until a company bids for the right to build one.

Read up on the history and shenanigans behind the "Trans-Texas Corridor". It amounted to a huge Texas-style land grab through emminent domain and a transfer of public infrastructure to a private for-profit company. These toll road schemes are nothing more than a down-sized version.

Two questions you may really want to ask before supporting one of these schemes is:

1. If we are required to pay tolls, which are essentially a usage tax, why should we pay a gas tax for roads?

2. If Texas is broke and cannot afford to build, repair, or replace it's current roads, why are 25% of Texas state fuel taxes diverted to education?

The Texas Constitution, to help fund the public education system in Texas, diverts 25% of each dollar collected in state motor fuel tax to education.

40 posted on 07/25/2010 10:45:25 PM PDT by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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