11/05/2007

SA EXPRESS NEWS: Slower I-35 part of deal on TTC toll road

Patrick Driscoll
SA Express-News

A recent toll road contract that shoehorns market incentives into a government monopoly would reward the state for lowering speed limits on Interstate 35, effectively steering drivers to the toll road.

The privatization contract for Texas 130 from Austin to Seguin, cutting a parallel path east of I-35, was quietly signed in March amid a legislative furor over whether to freeze such agreements. It includes a controversial clause that penalizes the state for widening or building competing roads.

If a project over the next 50 years — with some exceptions — interferes with Texas 130 toll traffic, the Texas Department of Transportation would have to pay Cintra of Spain and Zachry Construction Corp. of San Antonio for their lost profits.

But the state can also get credit, though not payment, for driving traffic to the tollway, including by lowering posted speeds on I-35.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

2 comments:

Peter Stern said...

The toll interests have more angles than a college Geometry textbook!!!


www.pstern.statesmanblogs.com

Anonymous said...

"Oddly, any improvements to the freeway are exempt from the competition clause." Why? Because repaving 35 "requires" shutting down 2 of the 3 lanes which effectively lowers the speed limit to 1/4 MPH. And, an "improvement" might include buying back I35 from the feds so tollbooths can be installed.