Privately funded roads on the way?

Thomas Wheatley of at CL offers this interesting tidbit:

What current Georgia governor is leavin’ on a jet plane at the end of the month for the sandy beaches of Spain? Sources say the state’s jovial chief executive is being joined by Dick Anderson, the executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. We’re sure it’ll be a nice couple days of handshakes and back slaps, maybe a bullfight or two.

But the interesting item apparently on their agenda? A sit-down with executives from Cintra, a Spanish company that’s considered the tops when it comes to privatized roads. (That’s when a company gives a big bag o’ cash to the state and either takes over operations of a well-traveled road or builds a new one, sets tolls, and reaps the revenue.)

I really like the idea of privately funded roads (I blogged about it here). Given the tight State budget and the massive amount of money the State needs to solve some of these traffic problems, allowing a private company to build some new roads is an idea well worth exploring.

13 comments

  1. Tekneek says:

    Hell, I could go for privatization of all roads if they would eliminate the state income tax. I find the roads in Florida to be much superior to Georgia’s roads and they don’t bother with state income tax. Even the roads in Tennessee are just as good as those in Georgia, by my own personal experience at least, and they don’t have an income tax either.

    Private roads and no state income tax decrease? No thanks.

  2. gt7348b says:

    While I too fully support toll roads for building new roads – I wish someone would answer the question:

    Where in metro-Atlanta are you going to put a new freeway? And whose neighborhood(s) are you going to bulldoze? That Parisian tunnel David Doss is so fond of throwing out there is only being constructed because the company got a lease extension on its profitable toll roads – meaning the tunnel is a loser on its own.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    BUILD new roads and fund them via tolls……NO SUCH LUCK!

    If we don’t watch like hawks, the roads WE ALREADY HAVE PAID FOR will be sold off and we will find ourselves paying for them again.

    I will personally do my best to tar and feather the politicians who do that.

  4. Game Fan says:

    Not no but HELL NO. Keep in mind that a lot of the advocates of “privatization” of our roads and bridges are simply shills who are bought and paid for. This is one of the FEW things that should be in the hands of the PUBLIC (what we used to call government) This stinks out loud. All part of the NAFTA Superhighway. Who the hell do you lightweights think you’re fooling here. Walk on before things get real ugly. Whores. Sellouts.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    I am against privatization of roads. There are things government is supposed to do, and legitimately so. One of those tasks is building roads.

    There are things that private companies are supposed to do, but those things do not include building roads and running jails or police forces.

  6. Icarus says:

    Doug, Indy, GameFan (save the Nafta Superhighway crap), and Icarus, all in agreement?

    I think I’m going to leave early and drink lunch today.

  7. Tinkerhell says:

    Why not allow private companies to maintain existing roadways for a toll to cover costs & a reasonable profit IF it reduces our taxes?

    I’m of the opinion that most anything that the government has it’s hand in is more or less being handled ineffeciently. Decrease our taxes, let private businesses take over the maintenance and possibly even construction of new roadways and reduce government in the process. The folks that use the roadways pay for the roadways. I don’t really see how this is a bad thing in any manner as long as some measure of oversight is in place so that we don’t end up being “overcharged” on the tolls.

    I’m not very well researched on this topic so if there are some strong reasons why this would be a bad thing please point those reasons out.

  8. Demonbeck says:

    TX has sections of interstate that are privately maintained better than the sections maintained publicly. Have we looked at their model?

  9. Game Fan says:

    Tinkerhell
    The neocons are globalists and corporate fascists. It’s real simple. American interests are secondary to “shareholder value”. With “Dubai ports” and these “public private partnerships” the taxpayer foots the bill as our infrastructure is handed over to multinational corporations. In Texas it’s known as the “Trans Texas Corridor”. Colorado it’s the “Superslab”. In Kansas City they’re planning an inland port. It’s the same animal. Just doesn’t have a nickname yet here in GA. Do you want to pay tolls to a foreign entity for the privilege of getting on the interstate? The whole thing is surrounded by spin and deception and talking points. Insults and derision in place of hard facts. Typical.

  10. Tinkerhell says:

    Gamefan – so tyhe issue then is that it’s non-USA corps that are getting these contracts? Are there no US based intities that will take the job?

    I’ve looked at the superslab (and briefly at the Texas site) & the issues seem to mostly be surrounding eminent domain. Note I didn’t include planning of new roadways as part of what I supported. Of course that should remain the responsibility of the state DOT. State’s ‘rights’ of eminent domain are a whole ‘nuther issue and exist outside of private or public maintained roadways.

    What I am curious about is are there reason why our state taxes shouldn’t be decreased and to offset that allow (some of) our roadways to be maintained by private business for a fee to those using the roadways?

  11. Game Fan says:

    Well first off those nasty names aren’t aimed at anybody here. Just generalities aimed toward the concept of globalism in general. (managed trade for large corporations, as Ron Paul would say)
    Tinkerhell
    There are a lot of facets to this thing. Connected to national sovereignty and Constitutional govt. vs. the corporatocracy. I don’t want to go off on too many tangents, but you should definitely research it and hopefully quit jumping at the opportunity with these ready-made solutions on a silver platter. Ultimately a gas tax would be cheaper to enact/increase rather than massive projects designed for intercontinental trade. “Inner city traffic” is a red herring. And once again I don’t see how any rational person would jump at the chance to pay tolls to anybody anywhere.

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