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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Bridging the gap

Steven Malanga, senior editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, says the lease of public assets, as in Go. Daniels' toll-road deal, are a way to get much needed infrastructure capital to help avoid more tragedies such as the Minneapolis bridge collapse:

The success of the Chicago and Indiana sales now has some political leaders scrambling to find other privatization possibilities. There are some estimates that several dozen deals could transpire in the next two years, yielding up to $80 billion for governments.

But selling existing assets may turn out to be only a small part of the story. Budget-squeezed governments are also accepting bids by private investors to finance, build and operate new roads.

[. . .]

Difficult political battles are ahead. But for the first time in over a generation, America's mayors and governors are looking at a realistic way to jumpstart spending they've neglected for too long. The stakes are high. Traffic congestion already costs our economy about $65 billion a year in lost productivity. Research also suggests that every $100 million invested in road maintenance and repair will save about 145 lives over the next decade.