The following list of roads and bridges leased to or owned by foreign companies was originally posted on Boston.com and mysteriously titled, “Highways Glance,” which has no apparent meaning to the content other than the word ‘Highways’–luckily I actually clicked on it despite the undescriptive headline. Unfortunately, corporate mass media has now turned to this type of strange misleading titles and ‘headlining’ to conceal what otherwise might be an actual real-world significancant story.
Current American Highways ‘Sold’ or ‘For Sale’
By The Associated Press | July 15, 2006
Originally posted as “Highways Glance” on Boston.com
WASHINGTON –Roads and bridges leased to or owned by foreign companies, followed by a list of proposed projects.
ALABAMA: On Dec. 30, 2005, a subsidiary of Australia-based Macquarie Infrastructure Group bought the Foley Beach Expressway bridge for $95 million between Orange Beach and Baldwin County mainland.
CALIFORNIA: In November 2003, construction began on Route 125, a four-lane, 9.5-mile toll road in eastern San Diego. California Transportation Ventures, primarily owned by Macquarie, paid $400 million for a 35-year lease. The road, which is expected to open in the fall, will serve international truck traffic crossing the California-Mexico border at Otay Mesa.
ILLINOIS: On Jan. 25, 2005, the city of Chicago leased the 7.8-mile Chicago Skyway to the Australian-Spanish consortium Macquarie-Cintra for 99 years in exchange for $1.83 billion. The Skyway links I-90 from the Toll Road at the Illinois-Indiana state line to the Dan Ryan Expressway in the Loop.
INDIANA: On June 29, a deal closed for Macquarie-Cintra to enter into a 75-year lease for the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road in exchange for $3.85 billion.
MICHIGAN: In January 2001, Macquarie North American Infrastructure Inc., a subsidiary of Macquarie’s Global Infrastructure Fund, bought the Detroit & Canada Tunnel Corp., which ran the U.S. side of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel connecting Detroit with Windsor, Canada.
VIRGINIA: On Aug. 31, 2005, Macquarie Infrastructure Group said it paid $533 million to buy 86.7 percent ownership of the 14-mile Dulles Greenway and is negotiating for the rest. The Greenway is a toll road that runs from Leesburg to Washington Dulles International Airport.
On June 29, Melbroune, Australia-based Transurban paid $519 million for a 99-year lease on the 8.8 mile Pocahontas Parkway, which connects the Richmond airport with highways south of the city.
ALASKA: Backers of the Knik Arm Bridge say they will look to private funding for the $600 million bridge that will connect Anchorage to Point Mackenzie. Recent legislation allows the bridge authority to team up with private companies to build, maintain, operate and collect tolls on the bridge.
COLORADO: The Front Range Toll Road Company proposes a 210-mile toll corridor from Wellington to just south of Pueblo. Popularly known as the Super Slab, it would be an alternative for commercial truck traffic, railroads and hazardous waste transportation around the heavily congested I-25 urban areas.
FLORIDA: The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority requested proposals from investors to build a 3.1 mile toll road connecting Interstate 275 to New Tampa Boulevard in central Tampa. The road is expected to cost $150 million.
ILLINOIS: Privatization of the 274-mile Illinois Tollway is the subject of legislative hearings and study.
INDIANA: Gov. Mitch Daniels wants a private company to help build a $1.8 billion, 142-mile extension of Interstate 69 from Indianapolis to Evansville and then manage it as a tollway.
MISSOURI: In May, the Legislature approved a plan that would allow a $910 million bridge to be built between St. Louis and Illinois by a public-private partnership with the right to collect tolls.
NEVADA: In May, Boulder City agreed to study a toll road — possibly privately financed and operated — along a 10-mile stretch between the new junction of Interstates 93 and 95 and the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge.
NEW JERSEY: The Legislature is considering selling 49 percent of 173-mile Garden State Parkway and 148-mile New Jersey Turnpike to private investors.
NEW YORK: Privatizing the Long Island Expressway and the Tappan Zee Bridge have been proposed, but the state needs to change its laws to enable such deals.
OHIO: Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell proposes leasing the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike for $4 billion to $6 billion for 99 years.
OREGON: Oregon has invited a group led by Macquarie to assess the feasibility of three toll projects outside of Portland: an 11-mile bypass, a new corridor and a widening of an existing corridor.
TEXAS: On June 29, The Texas Transportation Commission approved a deal in which Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Co. agreed to pay $1.3 billion to build 40 miles of state toll road from Austin to Seguin in exchange for the right to collect tolls for 50 years. The state will receive a share of the toll revenue. It’s expected to open to traffic in 2012.
In March 2005, the state entered into a $7.2 billion deal with Spanish-American consortium Cintra-Zachry to develop a 600-mile toll road from Oklahoma to Mexico and the Gulf Coast parallel to the existing Interstate 35. The partnership could operate the toll road, though that has not been decided yet. Cintra and Zachry have separately led teams that recently bid for the right to develop another part of the Trans-Texas Corridor, from Shreveport, La., and Texarkana through Houston to Mexico.
VIRGINIA: The state is negotiating with Fluor-Transurban for a $913 million project to add a high-occupancy toll lane to the existing HOV lanes between the 14th Street bridge and Dumfries, Va. From Dumfries down to Massaponax, Va., two new lanes would be built. Fluor is a construction company based in Aliso Viejo, Calif.; Transurban Group, a Melbourne, Australia-based toll road developer.
The state is also negotiating with Fluor-Transurban over a $900 million proposal to build four new toll lanes on a section of the Capital Beltway in Virginia. The companies would fund the entire project in exchange for toll concessions on two high-occupancy lanes in each direction of the beltway over a 14-mile stretch from Springfield to the Great Falls area. Carpoolers would get to use the lanes for free, while others would pay a variable toll that would increase during peak use.
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