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A New Perspective on Truck Tolling

Trucking industry opposition to toll-financing of the replacement I-10 bridge in Louisiana nearly killed this critically important P3 project last fall. Fortunately, this $2.1 billion revenue-risk P3 has been rescued by the legislature, after negotiations that revised the financing plan by reducing toll rates for trucks (and for very local users) and increasing the extent […]

The Future of U.S. Toll Roads

Toll roads constitute 8.2% of U.S. limited-access highway lane-miles (25.5 thousand ln-mi out of 312 thousand). That relatively small fraction includes some of the highest-volume major highways, such as Florida’s Turnpike, the Indiana Toll Road, Illinois Tollway, New Jersey Turnpike, New York Thruway, Ohio Turnpike, and Pennsylvania Turnpike. Adding HOT lanes and express toll lanes […]

Rethinking the Highway Trust Fund, Part 2

Last month I discussed the House Transportation Committee’s October hearing on the looming insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund. I reviewed three questions posed by Jeff Davis of the Eno Center for Transportation: 1. Should the users-pay/users-benefit principle be continued? 2. If the federal government retains that principle, what transportation functions should be covered? […]

Rethinking the Federal Highway Trust Fund

On October 18th, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s highways and transit subcommittee held a hearing on the future of the federal Highway Trust Fund. It was bad news all around, with expert testimony from Congressional Budget Office analyst Chad Shirley, Eno Transportation Weekly’s Jeff Davis, and officials from the Oregon and Washington State DOTs. […]

Louisiana Bridge Shows Need for More P3 Education

Revenue-financed DBFOM P3s are still relatively rare in the United States, but you’d think that if a state DOT had succeeded in doing its first one, the second one would be easier to get approved. But a recent hearing in Louisiana should serve as a wake-up call on the need for increased educational efforts on […]

A New Approach to Financing Interstate Reconstruction

America’s aging Interstate highways are wearing out, and the majority of the lane-miles and numerous bridges need to be replaced or reconstructed. Congress has taken no action on the 596-page report it requested in the FAST Act, released by the Transportation Research Board in January 2019. Evidently, if the Interstates are going to be modernized, […]

Construction Contractors and Transportation P3s

Since 2009, the Texas legislature has rejected all proposals from Texas DOT for new DBFOM P3s. That happened yet again in the 2023 legislative session. I used to believe this was all due to grass-roots populist opposition to tolling and P3s. But I now think the problem goes deeper, involving high-powered corporate lobbying.  

Countering Attacks on P3 Infrastructure

Several people recently called to my attention an op-ed in the New York Times (May 8, 2023) headlined, “Why Are We Allowing the Private Sector to Take Over Our Public Works?” The villain of the piece was the several hundred infrastructure investment funds that have grown dramatically over the past decade. They are a source […]

Trucks and Tolling, Part 2

In last month’s column, I reviewed the trucking industry’s four primary concerns about tolling and concluded that three of the four have merit. These could be addressed in future toll projects via legislative changes that would prevent the diversion of toll revenues to non-highway purposes, begin tolling only after a new or rebuilt highway or […]