Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Privatizing the Dulles Toll Road

A consortium of some major road-building companies and operators will offer the state a $1 billion lump sum in exchange for 50 years worth of revenues on the Dulles Toll Road, says today's Washington Post.

The group would make 19 improvements to the road, including repaving, upgrading toll facilities and building new ramps. Part of the appeal of the offer is that the cash could cover Virginia's share of the $2.4 billion estimated cost of extending Metrorail through Tysons Corner, says the Post. Virginia would still own the road.

Among the companies involved: Clark Construction Group, Shirley Contracting, Dewberry LLC and Autostrade, which operates the Dulles Greenway, a private road that connects to the Dulles Toll Road. Former governor Gerald Baliles is also part of the group.

Last year tolls on the road produced a $28.5 million surplus, the Post says. About 200,000 vehicles use it daily. VDOT officials aren't commenting, except to say that they'll also solicit other offers and review all proposals and make a recommendation to the VDOT commissioner, who would have the final say.

This is the kind of deal Speaker of the House Bill Howell described in a June speech in Fredericksburg, when cited examples such as the $1.8 billion leasing of the Chicago Skyway, or the deal Texas state officials made to have a private firm build part of the giant Trans-Texas Corridor and give the state a $1.2 billion franchise fee. "Imagine what we could do with that money," Howell said then.


At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take the current surplus and escalate it 3% per year for 50 years, then calculate the net present value of that revenue stream at 4%. Comes out to $1,091 million.

Under those conditions the state would be giving away $91 million.


Post a Comment

<< Home