The master plan is going to be on the TXDot site later today, at which time I and I'm sure a LOT of concerned Texans will be scrutinizing it. (Side note: Will the release of this master plan be the details that show what Cintra was trying to hide through their lawsuiit against the AG?)
Parts of the toll road — 260 miles’ worth — would be under way within five years and open by 2014.
Tolls could be 15 cents a mile for cars, 59 cents for trucks. At that rate, a 145-mile, one-way trip from south of Mansfield to Austin would be $22 — or for truckers, $85.
Remember that, according to previous TxDot meetings, Cintra gets to set the toll amounts. So the operative word there, as far as I'm concerned is *could*. I had read recently of another system elsewhere that would raise tolls on the fly based on how congested the road is.... would Cintra do that?
Total cost of designing and building the corridor would be $8.8 billion, up from previous estimates of $7.2 billion.
Private companies would pay that cost, plus fees totaling $1.9 billion, in exchange for the right to collect tolls for 50 years. TxDOT would use the money on other transportation work.
I don't remember. Does Cintra get to keep ALL the tolls?
A rail line that would divert freight trains around Fort Worth to the west would be built from 2012-16, to unclog tracks in Fort Worth and other populated areas.
Railroad companies can’t be forced to use new tracks, but more than half of all cargo likely would be diverted to the new corridor, according to Cintra-Zachry.
A road following that rail line would be built from 2017-55.
Who benefits from this? For example, Sid Miller got lobby money from Union Pacific. Or maybe something like CSXT Rail?
While it’s considered a privately funded project, a third of the construction and design costs — about $3.2 billion — would be in the form of federal transportation loans. The federal government would be repaid over 35 years, with interest.
When Cintra got the project, they said they would be paying for it. WHY ARE THEY GETTING A FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION LOAN FOR THEIR PRIVATE COMPANY?????
The $3.2 billion would double the number of projects funded by Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans since Congress created the program in 1998.
“It’s a loan program made possible by federal gas taxes paid by everyone in America, including citizens in Texas,” Texas Transportation Commission chairman Ric Williamson of Weatherford said. “Since Texans only get back 70 percent of federal transportation taxes ... we’d be remiss if we missed an opportunity to get that loan.”
That's baloney from this crook. It isn't like TTC has to be THE option.
Cintra-Zachry will keep a special relationship with the transportation department for years to come. The state paid the company $3.5 million for the master plan, and it awarded Cintra-Zachry a $1.4 billion portion of the corridor near Austin. Otherwise, the state has no obligation to hire Cintra-Zachry for any other work, but could award the company part or all of the entire $8.8 billion project without putting it out to bid.
Cintra-Zachry has already said it wants exclusive rights to build the rail line around Fort Worth, and the outer highway loop around Dallas-Fort Worth.
Can't wait to see the map