HARRISBURG PA – The efforts of Lower Pottsgrove‘s state senator John Rafferty, who in his role as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee hopes to expand partnerships for joint public-private ownership of roads, bridges and other municipal structures during 2011, are among the subjects of a special report titled “Capitol Projects” published Wednesday (Dec. 15, 2010) by The Pennsylvania Independent online news service.
Public-private partnerships, or P3s as they’re sometimes called, are seen as one solution to finance the high cost of re-building the state’s deteriorating infrastructure. They have been frequently mentioned as a method to pay for renovations and expansions of, and installing new transportation services along, the U.S. Route 422 corridor from King of Prussia west through Pottstown and on to Reading.
The latest installment of The Independent’s Capitol Projects series – three other stories have already been published – describes problems Pennsylvania faces in coping with everything from common roadway potholes to cracks in support columns on the state’s longest suspended highway, Interstate 95 through Philadelphia. Replacing I-95 alone could cost about $20 billion, reporter Eric Boehm wrote; the state’s entire budget for new highway construction during 2010 amounted to only $1.8 billion.
Under P3s, the state would own assets like highways and bridges, but lease them for long-term periods of 50 or more years to private companies. Those firms would be responsible for maintenance and upkeep, but also would be allowed to profit by collecting tolls or other fees from users of those assets.
- Read The Independent’s story, “Private Partnerships A Possible Transportation Solution,” here.
Photo from the PA State Senate