When good toll roads go bad
By Keith Benman
December 27, 2014
Northern Indiana is not the first region in the nation to be subject to fallout from a toll road bankruptcy, with a number of other privatized roads and bridges going belly up across the nation in the past few years.
The good news is those roads have continued to carry traffic with little disruption. The bad news is there is usually little communities can do to influence the bankruptcy process, except in cases where roads revert to government ownership.
OUTRAGE: As punishment for voters rejecting a sales tax hike to pay for state highways, Missouri politicians seek to impose $20-$30 in tolls per trip to use I-70.
Report: Double-digit tolls could fund I-70 repairs
By SUMMER BALLENTINE
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Motorists on Interstate 70 would need to pay $20 to $30 in tolls to travel one way across Missouri to pay for the minimum in needed repairs on the roadway, according to a state Department of Transportation report released Wednesday.
Possible solutions suggested in the report, commissioned in early December by Gov. Jay Nixon, include using tolls to repay public bonds or to recoup expenses in a public-private partnership.
Falling oil prices could deepen Texas' road funding woes
By BRANDON FORMBY
Dallas Morning News
December 28, 2014
Drivers cheer falling gas prices, but the plummeting value of oil could undermine voters’ attempts to pay for more road construction and maintenance.
Texans overwhelmingly agreed in November to partially fill the state transportation agency’s $5 billion annual shortfall with excess oil and gas production taxes. The approval of Proposition 1 was expected to give the Texas Department of Transportation about $1.7 billion a year.
Maybe the political class and special interests are excited about rail since road funding has been lackluster for the last few years and they’ll latch onto any black hole needing taxpayer subsides and guarantees anytime they can get it. However, North Texas residents are angry at the prospect of more of their road funding being diverted to rail projects while being asked to pay double digit daily toll bills all over the Metroplex.
2014 in transportation: Toll projects garnered furor while rail projects drew excitement
By BRANDON FORMBY
Dallas Morning News
December 28, 2014
North Texas this year moved closer to becoming home to the nation’s largest network of managed toll lanes, as the second phase of LBJ Freeway’s massive renovation opened.
The region’s proliferation of toll lanes and roads expanded into Tarrant County with the opening of three projects — the DFW Connector, the North Tarrant Express and the Chisholm Trail Parkway. And in Dallas, the long-planned Trinity Parkway toll road once again emerged as one of the city’s most contentious topics.
These two dueling news reports from North Carolina TV stories show the power of the press: one series reads like a puff piece written by Cintra, the other highly critical of Cintra - leasing viewers to draw totally different conclusions. This is why TURF exists - to help you sort the facts from fiction and to protect the interests of we the people - the taxpayers!
NOTE: Cintra canceled its interview with the reporter once they knew TURF was going to be interviewed.
9 Investigates: The real cost of toll lanes
To get answers, Channel 9 traveled to Dallas, Texas where Cintra is building a similar toll road.
By Scott Wickersham
November 5, 2014
Channel 9 - North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina DOT is close to finalizing a financial contract with a Spanish company to build toll roads on Interstate 77 from Mooresville to uptown Charlotte. But not much is known about exactly how much it will cost or how construction will affect traffic, and the public has only seen animations of how it will look when it's done.
To get answers, Channel 9 anchor Scott Wickersham traveled to Dallas, Texas where Cintra is building a similar toll road. Channel 9’s investigation found that Texans are paying a hefty price to drive congestion-free -- and one group there says people in Charlotte should be very concerned. The Dallas metro area is home to 6.5 million people -- and heavy traffic.
Roads to Ruin
Opinion: "We’ve let private companies get away with the claim that efficiency will lead to cheaper and better highways when what it often leads to is massive taxpayer debt."
By Randy Salzman
November 11, 2014
The company that runs the $3.8 billion Indiana Toll Road went under in September, adding to the list of nearly a dozen transportation-based public-private partnerships in bankruptcy court across the country.
Few of the rest, including Virginia's 22 public-private partnerships, known as P3s, are meeting their toll and income projections. Maryland's InterCounty Connector has quadrupled in cost to $4 billion while carrying less than half of its projected vehicles.
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