In his latest Bacon’s Rebellion column, Reason’s Director of Government Reform Geoff Segal examines the $522 million, 99-year lease deal that Virginia signed with an Australian company to operate the Pocahontas Parkway and wonders why the state isn’t looking to cut similar agreements for its other roads:
In light of the Pocahontas experience, the Dulles Toll Road would seem to offer tremendous opportunity to benefit the people of Virginia. With offers upwards of $1 billion in cash and capital upgrades on the table, the potential concession deal seemed like a classic win-win proposition. Unfortunately Gov. Kaine threw away those benefits when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to choose a public-public partnership instead of a public-private partnership. …A modern transportation system is important to the future of Virginia. But “being stuck in the past” in the way we choose our projects and invest our resources will bring only disappointment and further citizen distrust in government. The Pocahontas Parkway deal is an example of the future while the rail-to-Dulles deal lacks the thoroughness and creativity required in today’s world.