June 11, 2008

TXDOT to concede to big changes in TTC - 69

In an effort to get around the 391's that Hank and others have been working so hard to put together, TXDOT is changing the path of TTC 69 substantially. The best part? The thing is STILL going to be a privatization. AND nothing is changing on TXDOT's plan to toll all new capacity.

For a good piece on the gas tax vs tolls, take a look at this Burka post. After you've done that, think about this little fact...in 2003 when funding was originally 'approved' for the expansion and conversion to a freeway of US 281 just north of SA into the Hill Country, the cost was estimated at $100 mn. Now, with inflation, that cost is $175 mn. That's the taxpayer cost if the road is built free with public funds. If it's privatized, the cost goes above ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Now, would someone please explain to me how that's cheaper?

Posted by mcblogger at June 11, 2008 12:06 AM

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Those old numbers seem really low - ten years ago when I started arguing light rail versus freeways, the rule-of-thumb generally used for a freeway lane was about $10 million per mile - and that was on projects where they didn't have to do the stupid Texas thing of pushing frontage roads out and rebuilding them (i.e. how every other state does things).

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 11, 2008 09:13 AM

Actually, I'm going back and finding the hard data... it was $100mn though and the current estimate of $175mn is from ARMA.

Wherever you stand on this, you have to admit the cost overruns and additional expense of having a private partner is too high.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 11, 2008 09:23 AM

Here's the information on the 281 tollway

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 13, 2008 10:05 AM

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