Bad TxDOT Deal Exposed - FREEway Sold For Peanuts!

Just days ago TxDOT sold a Dallas state highway (SH 121 - intended to be a freeway) to Cintra for 50 years. Most sane people knew selling a public highway to a spanish company was a bad deal, but who would have thought it would be exposed to be an outrageous financial screw up so quickly?

First, you need to know this important tid-bit: TxDOT would not let the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) bid on the tolling of 121 freeway. But it allowed corporations from other countries bid. Cintra won the deal, to toll a Texas Freeway for 50 years, just days ago.

North Texas Tollway Authority estimates it would have given the state $4.2 billion in the freeway for sale deal. Instead TxDOT cut a deal with Cintra for only $700 million. From the Dallas Morning News today:

The deal to make State Highway 121 a toll road for $2.8 billion in cash was less than half of what the state could have gotten, according to a very rough estimate unveiled Monday by the North Texas Tollway Authority.

In what everyone acknowledged to be an extremely preliminary analysis, the tollway authority said it could have given the Texas Department of Transportation $2.1 billion up front for the rights to the toll road project in Collin and Denton counties. That is the same figure as the winning bidder, Cintra Concesiones Infraestructuras de Transporte SA.

The difference came in how much money the tollway authority said it could pay over the life of the 50-year toll contract: $4.2 billion vs. Cintra's $700 million offer.”
We get screwed by billions of dollars and our roads are being stolen for corporate profits. Our elected officials (Perry, Craddick, Williamson, Krusee and others) have sold us out. When will this madness be stopped?

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Richard Reeves said...

And to think that in 2004 the ENTIRE TTC-I35 Corridor(300+ miles) went to CINTRA for an up front amount of only $1.2 billion.

Indiana Turnpike (157 miles) money upfront was $3.85 billion:
http://www.reason.org/commentaries/segal_20060710.shtml .

Chicago Skyway (7.8 miles), $1.83 billion:

Wasn't it Rick Williamson and others that said we need billions and billions, then they sell low?

Sal Costello said...

FROM http://www.quorumreport.com/:

March 16, 2007 3:23 PM


Some senators question whether NTTA was told to back off

The North Texas Tollway Authority this week made its clearest intention so far that it has changed the way it is approaching the pursuit of new toll projects in light of the strong push by Spanish toll road company Cintra to snap up as many projects as possible.

In a Wednesday meeting of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, former board chairman Jere Thompson told senators that NTTA has come up with an informal response that could at some point counter Cintra’s bid on the State Highway 121 toll project in North Texas.

The key point: NTTA, because it is a public entity, could pay a much larger concession fee to the state than Cintra. The toll authority estimated that it could offer a $6.3 billion concession fee. That compares to the $2.85 billion that Cintra is offering in its bid. Public agencies can return more money on toll projects because they have a much lower cost of funds, he said. Depending on future traffic flow, NTTA could give a concession fee as high as $7-plus billion.

That extra $3.5 billion (or more) could cover nearly all of the long term transportation projects needed by the region, he said. He added that by focusing on private companies when awarding comprehensive development agreements, TxDOT is selling short high-profile transportation projects.

"Nobody here would sell their house for half of its worth," he said. "That is what is essentially happening here."

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