According to the WaPo, Virginia officials are considering a public-private partnership proposal for the Dulles Toll Road in Northern Virginia:
- A consortium of the region's leading road builders and operators said yesterday that it plans to offer Virginia a lump sum of more than $1 billion in return for revenue generated by the Dulles Toll Road for the next 50 years.
The consortium said it also would pay for operations and maintenance of the road, one of Northern Virginia's main commuter routes. It would make 19 improvements, including construction of new access ramps from the Capital Beltway and other roads, repaving of the entire length and modernization of toll collection.
The revenue paid by the consortium to the state could cover Virginia's share of extending Metrorail through Tysons Corner, a project estimated to cost $2.4 billion, up from the $1.5 billion figure that prevailed last year when the rail financing plan was set.
The proposal would push forward the frontier in Virginia's effort to privatize its transportation system and would be the latest in a small but growing number of such deals in the nation.
In recent years, Virginia has signed a handful of deals in which private groups agreed to build or widen roads in exchange for toll revenue. This deal would differ because it would exchange the tolls from an existing -- and profitable -- public highway for cash. Virginia would still own the road.
The group behind the proposal includes some of the biggest names in the road-building industry, including Clark Construction Group, Shirley Contracting, Dewberry LLC and Autostrade, which operates the Dulles Greenway, a private highway that links to the Dulles Toll Road. The group also includes former governor Gerald L. Baliles (D).