Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Turnpike Lease

Governor Rendell introduced the highest bidder in the contest to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike, A consortium including a Spanish firm and a division of Citigroup is offering the Commonwealth 12.8 billion dollars to operate the toll way.

Governor Rendell says the 75-year lease would generate more money for transportation projects than an alternative proposal to place tolls on Interstate 80. "That's a good result, that's a very good result. To me it seems like a slam dunk."

The legislature would have to approve the deal, but Rendell says investing the upfront lease payment would bring in an average of 1.1 billion dollars a year for roads, bridges and mass transit.

Barcelona-based Abertis Infraestructuras - the world's largest private toll operator - would manage the turnpike. Jordi Graells is managing director of toll roads for North America ..."We are going to put here in place the best technologies, the best practices that we have learned throughout 40 years of experience worldwide. And you can guarantee that the road is going to be in perfect shape as the Governor said, as well as the service to users is going to be constantly enhanced and taken care of."

Union workers - but necessarily not managers -- would have job security for at least four years.

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