Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Decision on SH 121 Toll Road bid coming soon

Officials to decide on toll-road deal


Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright 2007

Metroplex leaders have reached a crossroads in their quest to solve the region's traffic woes by building toll roads.

On Thursday, the Regional Transportation Council will hear details of two proposals to build the Texas 121 toll road in Denton and Collin counties. The RTC will reconvene Monday and pick a winner.

The resulting vote will set a new regional policy that will determine how other area roads are to be built for the next 50 years -- by private companies that stand to profit or a Plano-based government agency that stands to grow enormously almost overnight.

The suitors:
  • The private Spanish company Cintra, which pledges to pay the RTC $2.4 billion upfront and $700 million over 50 years in exchange for tolling rights.
  • The North Texas Tollway Authority, a 10-year-old public agency that already controls Dallas-area toll roads such as the President George Bush Turnpike. After Cintra's bid was accepted, the NTTA upped the ante and offered $2.5 billion upfront and $833 million over 50 years, using its existing toll system as collateral.
Toll tangle

The Regional Transportation Council will meet from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday to debate two proposals to build the Texas 121 toll road.

Where: North Central Texas Council of Governments, Six Flags Drive, Arlington

Public comment? No. RTC meetings are open to the public, but only staff and RTC members may speak. or 817-695-9240.
Gordon Dickson, 817-685-3816

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