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Highway Robbery: How "private-public partnerships" extract private profit from public infrastructure projects

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At www.dollarsandsense.org

Exploding the myth of Private Sector efficiency: 'In 1995, California granted a private company the right to construct express toll lanes along the State Route 91 freeway in Orange County, a region inhabited by millions, with some of the heaviest traffic flows in the nation. This was the first modern privatized highway in the United States. It did not take long for things to unravel. The SR-91 toll lanes did not unclog what local traffic reporters referred to as the 'Corona Crawl,' so state and local officials sought to expand nearby highways to ease worsening congestion and improve safety. When transportation offices announced the improvement plans, CPTC unexpectedly filed a lawsuit, citing a non-compete clause in their contract to build and operate the toll lanes. The people of California were legally blocked from improving their highways because it could reduce private profits.'

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