Daily News Briefs, January 13, 2020

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Local Media Report: Elizabeth River Crossings May Be for Sale

WAVY reports, two “well-placed sources”confirm that Macquarie Group, a parent of Elizabeth River Crossings, is “actively seeking a financial advisor” to evaluate options for selling the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. Responding to a request for comment, a Macquarie executive tells WAVY, “It is the policy of both Skanska and Macquarie not to comment on the divestment potential for individual assets in our PPP project portfolios,” and “If and when there is an agreement to sell an asset, the companies would make a formal disclosure to the market.” Commenting on the report, a state representative says Virginia’s government wants to be ready to obtain “some benefit in favor of taxpayers” if a sale actually occurs, adding, “There are discussions going on with the secretary of transportation on possible financing models to help deal with that.”

Elizabeth River Tunnels Hampton Roads Metro Area (VA) Macquarie Group Skanska Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)


RFID Reader Glitch Causes WSDOT to Refund about $70,000 to Some SR 99 Tunnel Users

KOMO reports, Washington State DOT is refunding about $70,000 to some “Good To Go” account holders who have used Seattle’s SR 99 tunnel. WSDOT said “some intermittent problems” with the tunnel’s transponder reading equipment caused nearly 65,000 customers to receive a 25-cent photo enforcement fee in error. WSDOT notified affected customers that the problem has been corrected.

ETC Systems Good To Go! Toll System Washington State Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) WSDOT SR 99 Tunnel Project (Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement)


MTC's Therese McMillan Says Bay Area Needs New Planning Models

Daily Republic reports, Metropolitan Transportation Commission chief executive Therese McMillan last week told Solano Transportation Authority officials that “the old models used to plan for transportation and housing needs in the Bay Area will no longer work. Exactly what will work is still unknown, but McMillan said that all the varied interests will ‘intersect each other’ in the coming years.” Among other topics, McMillan discussed air quality requirements, targets she said “can only be met by reducing vehicle traffic through express lanes, transit and other strategies. Among those big-picture strategies is linking housing to transportation networks and housing to job centers.” McMillan, also addressed the Bay Area’s long-term transportation funding needs.

California Infrastructure Investment Trends Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) San Francisco Bay Area (CA)


US Supreme Court Will Hear Bridgegate Oral Arguments Tomorrow

The Hill reports, “The Bridgegate scandal will head to the Supreme Court [this] week, bringing with it complicated legal questions about whether public officials are committing fraud by lying about their reasons for making policy decisions.” The article adds, “In a brief filed last year, [lawyers for Bridget Anne Kelly] argued that the Third Circuit decision [affirming her conviction] effectively allows officials to be convicted for ‘concealment of political motives for an otherwise-legitimate official act.’”

Crime Beat George Washington Bridge Issues of Law Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)


CT Governor Makes the Case for Truck Tolls as Lawmakers Ready for a Possible Vote

Hartford Courant reports, “With the state deeply split over electronic highway tolls, a pro-tolls crowd greeted Gov. Ned Lamont [yesterday] afternoon with applause and politeness on a controversial subject that has become increasingly bitter.” The report adds, “Lamont sat on a stage with six other pro-toll advocates [but] no toll opponents,” the latter having “largely boycotted the forum in order to campaign for anti-toll candidates in two special legislative elections Tuesday and another on Jan. 21.” While Democrats contend they have the votes needed to pass Lamont’s transportation funding plan, no date has been set for a vote. The article makes references to a 15-page “working draft” of a toll bill that the newspaper says it has obtained.

Connecticut Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT)


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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