Missouri mulls P3 for highway project

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Missouri mulls P3 for highway project

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC), USA, is considering a public private partnership (P3) structure to upgrade the Interstate 70 highway.

Jay Nixon, Missouri Governor, in a letter to Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission Chairman Stephen Miller on 9 December, asked MHTC to conduct an analysis of options for utilizing toll to upgrade  I-70. Mr Nixon stated:

"A strong transportation system is critical to Missouri's economic competitiveness, but Missouri's transportation funding is approaching a critical juncture. That is why I am requesting that the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission analyze and provide options for utilizing tolls to address one of our most pressing transportation infrastructure needs - improving and expanding Interstate 70 - and to free up resources currently dedicated to repair and maintenance on I-70 for road and bridge projects throughout the state.

"Across the country, states have utilized private sector-based solutions, such as those involving tolls or public-private partnerships, to address significant transportation needs like I-70. The potential of such solutions is worth of exploration as we continue a robust discussion regarding our transportation needs and options to pay for them.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), in January 2012, also proposed a P3 project to develop the I-70 after they estimated the repair costs, on the highway linking Kansas City and St. Louis, to be between US$2 billion and US$4 billion.

At that time MoDOT said that the Interstate 70 highway project could be done through a P3 project, in which private sector investment would be repaid by I-70 users through a toll. A tolled facility would have a dedicated revenue stream to pay for its operation, maintenance and future condition and safety needs.

In August this year, Missouri voters did not approved a three-fourths-cent sales tax intended to invest in improvements for about 2,000 mile of I-70.

According to a MoDOT document, Interstate 70 was designed to carry 12,000-18,000 vehicles per day, but it carries an average of about 31,000 vehicles per day in the corridor's most rural sections, with 10,000-13,000 trucks.

Other examples of road PPP projects in planning stage in USA are:

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