Private toll road sector forms Washington DC advocacy group - America Moving Forward

January 8, 2008
By Peter Samuel

America Moving Forward (AMF) is the name of a group announced today to push the cause of private sector investment in roads - concessions, PPPs, longterm leases, DBFO, whatever moniker is to your taste. Executive director is Peter J Loughlin, 39, an attorney and lobbyist who has worked on the House transportation committee as director of government affairs at the Associated General Contractors and in a senior position at Koch Performance Roads.

The four steering committee members for AMF are representatives of Cintra, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, and Transurban. Members include a variety of engineering, law, construction and toll associated companies. A spokesman says it is an adviocacy group and won't engage in lobbying.

Loughlin says in the announcement: "American infrastructure has reached a crisis point as maintenance costs grow and state budgets shrink. Public-private partnerships are a win-win for commuters and all levels of government. Allowing private investment in our roads, highways and bridges enables governments to climb out from under the crushing cost of maintaining their critical transportation infrastructure and put scarce funding toward other spending priorities."

By best estimates, the AMF statement says, it will take more than $185 billion to maintain the nation's road systems over the next five years, but the National Highway Trust Fund currently holds less than 7% of that amount. States cannot make up the difference without raising taxes or making cuts to critical government services such as schools and healthcare. In addition, congestion continues to plague American roadways, directly impacting road condition and quality of life for millions of commuters stuck in gridlock.

"Public-private partnerships are a practical, innovative solution to this growing problem. These arrangements allow governments to partner with private companies to build and/or operate state infrastructure. This can take many forms. Some companies might pay states an upfront lump sum to build or operate the road for a fixed period of time. Or, states may decide to pay companies if they prove they can 'do it for less.' In all cases, companies must abide by built-in standards for maintenance and performance, and the state or public agency maintains ultimate control. The state benefits by saving money which it can direct toward budget priorities like healthcare, education and lower taxes."

for the full press statement hit here

AMF has a website (as of today it has lots of Coming Soon pages)

http://www.americamovingforward.org/

TOLLROADSnews 2008-01-08

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