Wall Street Journal highlights SNJB

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal's Feb. 20, 2013 opinion article

"Take the Public-Private Road to Efficiency" by Chris Edwards:

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out an array of new spending proposals, including a $50 billion plan for highways, bridges and other projects. He wants to attract "private capital" for the plan, but the problem is that federal planners would remain in control of the allocations. America's transportation facilities need to be continually repaired and rebuilt, but decisions about where and when should not be made in Washington. 

Hundreds of billions of dollars of railways, highways, seaports, airports and other assets have been partly or fully privatized in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, but America lags behind. Partial privatization through public-private partnerships has become a major source of infrastructure investment in Canada and Australia, among other countries. Such partnerships improve on traditional government contracting by shifting elements of funding, management, maintenance, operations and financial risks to private businesses.

Several projects in Virginia illustrate the possibilities:

The Jordan Bridge. Private firms fully financed and constructed a $142 million highway bridge over the Elizabeth River between Chesapeake and Portsmouth. The cost of this handsome and soaring structure—which opened in 2012—will be paid back (and then some) by toll revenues over time.

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