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  • How will Texas continue to pay for its highways?

    06/17/2017 12:54:06 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 43 replies
    The Housont Chronicle ^ | May 23, 2017 | Kyle Shelton, via The Urban Edge
    Texas is a highway state. This reality stems from the need to meet the mobility demands of both sprawling metropolitan regions and vast rural areas.Paying for the state's massive system of highways has always been a challenge, however. Estimates from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) put the state's highway expansion and maintenance needs alone at nearly $383 billion by 2040. Existing public funding, projected to be $70 billion over the next decade, will not be able to cover that cost without unprecedented funding increases after 2026.While Texans are clearly amenable to paying for better roads — two recent state...
  • Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure promise has an obstacle: His own budget cuts

    06/16/2017 5:52:41 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    WZVN ABC 7 ^ | June 9, 2017 | Patrick Gillespie
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President Trump says he's creating a $1 trillion plan to rebuild America's roads, bridges and runways. "We will create the first class infrastructure our country and our people deserve," Trump said Wednesday in Cincinnati. "It's time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs." Trump has dubbed this week as "infrastructure week." But an analysis of the Trump budget finds that it cuts infrastructure spending overall by $55 billion, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Budget Model, a non-partisan research organization. (Coincidentally, Trump graduated from the Wharton School in 1968). Over 10 years, Trump's...
  • Penalties for unpaid tolls could plunge — but only on some tollways

    06/15/2017 3:58:05 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | May 18, 2017 | Ben Wear
    The rapidly escalating tollway fines that have left some Texans owing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars could be a thing of the past, based on an amendment that surprisingly found its way into a Texas Department of Transportation bill this week. But the impact to your pocketbook would depend on which tollway you’re driving. Under the amendment, a car owner who has driven on a tollway without paying — even hundreds of times — would owe at most $73 in fines every six months, plus the unpaid tolls. But that change, proposed by Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San...
  • Tolls, private financing obstacles to Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan

    06/12/2017 8:16:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Huntsville Item ^ | June 10, 2017 | Kery Murakami CNHI Washington Bureau
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s grand plan to spend $1 trillion over the next 10 years on highways and other infrastructure improvements faces a formidable roadblock in Congress and state legislatures. There’s agreement the investment is badly needed to improve the nation’s sagging infrastructure but how to cover the huge expense is the point of tension. Trump would use $200 billion in public funds to generate $800 billion in private money under a partnership program that would finance government bonds and also return a profit to private companies through interstate tolls and other user fees. To do that, Congress would...
  • Private Toll Operators Salivate Over Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

    06/11/2017 11:05:39 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 129 replies
    The Intercept ^ | June 6, 2017 | Lee Fang
    Investors are hoping to seize upon the $1 trillion infrastructure plan proposed by President Donald Trump to transform the nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels into assets they can monetize by adding tolls and other user fees.The Trump infrastructure plan, which the administration plans to roll out this week, is centered on the idea of “asset recycling,” which refers to the process of securing new infrastructure spending by leasing the operations of existing public property to private operators.The privatization-centered scheme has the nation’s largest toll operators salivating. Transurban, Cintra, and TransCore, three major toll operators, have retained federal lobbyists to influence...
  • Public-Private Partnerships Will Not Save U.S. Infrastructure

    05/23/2017 1:09:11 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    StreetsBlog USA ^ | May 17, 2017 | Stephen Miller
    This week, while Donald Trump ensnares himself in the most serious threat to his presidency to date, Congress is, to some extent, continuing with the typical business of government. A series of hearings during “Infrastructure Week” are focusing on the administration’s rumored infrastructure plan.Although the White House has been talking up private infrastructure investment as a replacement for public funding, a panel of experts told Congress that, even with perfectly executed public-private partnerships, the federal government still needs to provide its own support — especially for projects, like transit lines, that aren’t guaranteed to generate toll revenue for profit-seeking investors.This...
  • Flush with highway cash, Texas still looking for toll options

    04/26/2017 5:16:58 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | April 21, 2017 | Dug Begley
    Texas is spending record amounts on transportation, but lawmakers worried it is not enough are considering extending a controversial program that’s helped spread tollways through some of the state’s largest areas. A bill approved this week by a House committee would give the Texas Department of Transportation a chance to add six additional projects, including the widening of Interstate 45 north of I-10 and a long-planned Hempstead Tollway, meant to relieve traffic on U.S. 290 with the potential for a commuter rail corridor. The bill, by state Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, would also allow TxDOT or regional officials the chance...
  • Democrats bristle at Trump infrastructure plans

    04/16/2017 8:10:17 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 19 replies
    ABC 7 News ^ | April 6, 2017 | Joan Lowy (Associated Press)
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats had hoped the one big policy area they could find common ground with President Donald Trump on was infrastructure, but they don't like what they're hearing from administration officials about the transportation portion of the plan that's still in the works. Trump has promised to generate $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years. With two of his other top campaign pledges in trouble - an effort to repeal and replace the Obama administration health care law has failed so far, and without savings to the government from health care changes there may not be enough...
  • Trump Building Plan: How One Public-Private Deal Hit a Bumpy Road

    04/12/2017 10:10:09 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    NBC News ^ | April 5, 2017 | Jane C. Timm
    Texas had high hopes for the southern segments of SH 130, a 41-mile stretch of the high-speed toll road east of San Antonio. The state had put off building that stretch of road until a pair of investors stepped forward and offered what sounded like a great deal: Texas would get a big check for turning the rights to build and operate the toll road over to a private entity, a move that would give the state a new highway and a share of the tolls. The state would own the road and rake in revenue, but wouldn't have to...
  • United States: The Plan For The Future Of American Infrastructure

    02/17/2017 4:55:24 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    Mondaq ^ | February 13, 2017 | Richard P. Puttré, Eric W. Sedlak, Kevin J. McIntyre, Isel M. Perez and James F. Channing
    A Look Into the Opaque Crystal Ball for Infrastructure Initiatives in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration President Donald J. Trump's "America's Infrastructure First" plan is one of the Trump Administration's priorities during his first 100 days in office. Throughout the campaign, President Trump heralded his plan to build and restore highways, tunnels, airports, bridges, and water systems across America and promised a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure sector over a 10-year period. Leaders from both parties acknowledge the nation's deteriorating infrastructure, and there have been expressions of support from both sides of the aisle for some...
  • Trump and Congress can jumpstart improvements to interstate highways in Southern California

    02/15/2017 7:38:04 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies
    The Orange County Register ^ | February 5, 2017 | Robert Poole
    President Trump has promised to eliminate regulations and rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure. Federal agencies are awash with regulations and provisions based on the presumption that government is, and should be, the sole provider of infrastructure. But now that we understand the merits of public-private partnerships, which can provide more accountable public-purpose infrastructure, these numerous regulations and provisions serve as major obstacles preventing the improvement of highways and other infrastructure. Back in 1995, Reason Foundation published a policy study itemizing a number of these regulatory barriers. Sadly, most of them still exist today. If a state or municipal facility has...
  • Trump advisers’ tax credit plan for infrastructure has risks

    02/13/2017 10:01:44 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies
    Business in Savannah ^ | February 7, 2017 | The Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has promised to revitalize America’s aging roads, bridges, railways and airports, but a plan put forward by his economic advisers relies on a transportation financing scheme that hasn’t been tried before and comes with significant risks. The plan was set out just before the election by billionaire leveraged buy-out specialist Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for commerce secretary, and conservative economics professor Peter Navarro, whom Trump has tapped to head his National Trade Council. They recommended the government allocate $137 billion in tax credits for private investors who underwrite infrastructure projects. Ross and Navarro estimate that...
  • I-66 tolls a good idea for Northern Virginia

    01/05/2017 8:00:41 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    The Fairfax County Times ^ | December 19, 2016 | Patrick Rhode
    Dear Editor, 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 state’s 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...
  • Aubrey Layne: Trump's infrastructure plan is no magic bullet

    01/05/2017 7:16:37 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    The Virginian-Pilot ^ | December 30, 2016 | Aubrey Lane
    PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump has proposed a $1 trillion plan to fix America’s infrastructure. It relies on public-private partnerships as its primary source of financing. Our country’s complex transportation network needs an overhaul, but private investment is not the answer, mainly because of the returns that investors expect. Public-private partnerships can be an excellent procurement tool, but selecting the right project is key. Virginia has been a national leader in such deals since the General Assembly passed the Public Private Partnership Act in 1995. The law was designed for the partnerships to be used as an option for certain projects if...
  • Trump's pledge to boost infrastructure could aid mid-Hudson

    12/08/2016 12:56:52 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Middletown Times Herald-Record ^ | November 21, 2016 | James Nani
    County leaders are hopeful that the $1 trillion infrastructure investment promised by Republican president-elect Donald Trump will have a big impact on the region. Trump has promised to prioritize infrastructure spending in his first 100 days in office. The move is one that Democrats, now in minority positions in both houses of Congress, have said they're willing to support. The plan, which is not yet fully fleshed out, looks to rely heavily on billions of dollars of infrastructure tax credits to private entities. And while Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen warned recently that weighing down the national debt with...
  • How Trump Might Try to Fix Bridges and Highways: QuickTake Q&A

    11/24/2016 7:44:35 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    Bloomberg ^ | November 14, 2016 | Laurence Arnold and Sho Chandra
    Link only - Bloomberg
  • Donald Trump's infrastructure plan wouldn't actually fix America's infrastructure problems

    11/21/2016 9:00:54 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    Vox ^ | November 18, 2016 | Brad Plumer
    Donald Trump loves the idea of infrastructure. He brings it up all the time. He wants to make an infrastructure bill a priority in his first 100 days as president. And Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have said they’d love to work with him on this."We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals," Trump promised cheering supporters on election night. "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."The...
  • Who’s Going to Pay for Trump’s Huge Infrastructure Plans?

    11/20/2016 10:02:22 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 81 replies
    The Fiscal Times ^ | November 14, 2016 | Mark Joffe
    A rare point of agreement between President-Elect Trump and Congressional Democrats is that America has an infrastructure deficit: The nation’s transportation, power, water and sewerage facilities are too often outdated and unable to reliably serve a growing population. But while the diagnosis crosses party lines, solutions are more controversial. Democrats may not be too worried about the recent increase in federal deficits, but Republicans who have made an issue of the national debt will be reluctant to produce more red ink. Likewise, tax increases to pay for new federal construction spending are off the table under Trump and a Republican-controlled...
  • Trump promises big on highway funding, could open door to more tolls and privatization

    11/19/2016 11:54:49 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 33 replies
    Overdrive ^ | November 14, 2016 | James Jaillet
    President-elect Donald Trump said throughout his campaign for the White House that he wants major investments in U.S. infrastructure, calling for $1 trillion on infrastructure projects during his presidency.He reiterated the point in his victory speech last Wednesday. “We’re going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.”However, major infrastructure bills are challenging pieces of legislation to pass, especially since Congress changed little in the election, says Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent...
  • Trump's highway improvement plans come with a price of maybe more Texas toll roads

    11/10/2016 9:11:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 34 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | November 10, 2016 | Dug Begley
    If recent votes are any indication, Texans don’t like toll roads, but they do like Donald Trump. At some point, maybe soon, they’re going to have to make a choice between the two. President-elect Trump in late October laid out some of his plans should he win the White House, among them the American Energy & Infrastructure Act, which he plans to pass in his first 100 days. In his action plan that includes abolishing the Affordable Care Act and restraining immigration, Trump said the infrastructure plan “leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives.” Over a decade, Trump...