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I thought I gave it to you -- sorry!  Here's the series on Unbossed, and here's just one of the links describing the birth of E-470.  Some excerpts:

It's tempting to say E-470 is just another highway, albeit one that requires tolls, but the road is significant for a number of reasons.

It's one of the first in the nation built with a public-private partnership. It's one of the first to have technology embedded in the road to read and gather electronic tolls. And it's among the first to be built with a design-build contract.

(snip)

Whereas most roads are built by public officials acting for a city, state or county, E-470's first board included developers who donated right-of-way land to the project.

(snip)

Pushed to the brink, E-470 notched another first: signing a public-private partnership with the contractor, Morrison Knudsen (now known as Washington Group International), chosen to design and build Segments II and III, to help it find financing.

The contracts were groundbreaking in several ways.

"Design-build" contracts, where the contractor takes an idea and does both the design and the construction, were new.

Typically, the owner -- such as a county, state or authority -- would pay one firm to do the design and then pay another contractor for the construction. Design-build contracts package the two jobs into one to save time and money. Today, the same design-build concept is being used to build the T-REX highway widening and light-rail project along I-25.

And bringing the contractor in on the financing side made the project a true "public-private partnership," Hogan said.

There's a lot more, but it's the same set-up as the road in France.  They're calling it a public-private partnership (ppp) but it all amounts to the fact that the government and the citizens don't "own" the road.  The government still does have an interest in it, as did France, but could divest themselves of it at any time.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 03:35:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After reading through the linked articles, I'm still confused about exactly how the financing arrangements of E470 work. Clearly the original design and construction was done by a private organization, where a conventional road would be financed by the state, and designed and constructed by contractors. The financing of E470 was arranged by the private company, and they hold $16M of the construction bonds (while the bulk, $654M, was issued to the public), and they operate the highway and collect the tolls to repay the bonds.
http://www.innovativefinance.org/projects/highways/e470.asp

But the actual ownership of the road still resides with the public, specifically the various towns through which the road passes.

The public-private partnership is new in this case, but it's a construction partnership, not a transfer of ownership.

I'm not familiar with the details how the "private" European roads are operated, but my understanding is that they are true private ventures, with the formal ownership and indefinite-term operation under the control of a private company. Here's a link to some information... http://www.autoroutes.fr/index.php?lng=2

by asdf on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 08:40:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not indefinite term. All motorways have concessions with set durations. Some of the ancillary infrastructure (the gas/rest stations) have separate concessions.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 09:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
can have a very long term : 99 years in the case of Chicago skyway.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 10:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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