Daily News Briefs, May 11, 2017

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3M Company Is Selling Its Tolling and License Plate Recognition Business to Neology

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports, “3M Co. is again selling a multimillion-dollar manufacturing division. The Maplewood-based company announced Wednesday [May 10] it’s entered an agreement to sell its tolling and automated license-plate-number recognition business to Poway, Calif.-based Neology Inc.,” a subsidiary of Smartrac NV.

Acquisitions and Mergers


Sources Tell Reuters Four Banks Are Arranging $11.95 Billion Loan to Help Atlantia Fund Its Bid for Abertis

Reuters UK reports, “Four banks are organising the bridge loan of around 11 billion euros [US$11.95 billion] that Italy’s Atlantia will use to help fund its bid on Spanish rival Abertis, three sources close to the matter said on [May 10]. The sources said the banks were BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo.”

Acquisitions and Mergers


AP: Connecticut Republican Lawmakers Question Whether Tolls Will Generate Any Revenue

Associated Press reports, “Republican senators raised concerns Wednesday [May 10] about proposed highway tolls, saying there’s no evidence they will generate revenue for the state’s transportation needs. Senate GOP leader Len Fasano explained how Connecticut can only pursue so-called congestion mitigation tolls, a way to manage traffic flows by charging a higher fee during the busiest drive times. The state cannot reinstate tolls on the state border without putting federal funding at risk. . . .”



CFX to Start Testing $85 Million Camera System Upgrade

WFTV reports, “The Central Florida Expressway Authority is making an $85 million upgrade to [its toll lane] camera system, which will do much more than just track license plates. ‘(The camera) is looking at the vehicle as a whole, as an identifiable image,’ Expressway Authority spokesman Brian Hutchings said.” The system will be used to catch toll violators and, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, “help identify vehicles associated with crimes, as well as Silver and Amber Alerts.”

Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) Scofflaws


FL Lawmakers Advance Bills Requiring FDOT to Study Takeover of Garcon Point Bridge

Navarre Press reports, “The first steps toward a state purchase of Garcon Point Bridge and the authority to reduce or eliminate tolls have been taken by the Florida Legislature.” [Link inserted.] The report adds, “[T]wo bills that passed on Friday [May 5] authorize the Florida Department of Transportation to begin a feasibility study into buying the controversial bridge from the private investors who own it.”

Florida Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority


Covington (KY) Officials Still Oppose Tolls to Pay for Brent Spence Bridge Replacement

WLWT reports, “The current plan for the Brent Spence Bridge corridor isn’t sitting well with the city of Covington [Kentucky]. Covington’s city commission met [on May 9] and unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its opposition to tolls. Tolls are part of the current plan as a way to address additional funding needed to replace the bridge. The commission said it is concerned over what it called ‘outdated plans and economic harm to the city.’”

Brent Spence Bridge (Cincinnati OH-Northern KY) Kentucky Ohio


VDOT Rolls Out New Designs for I-66 Toll Lane Ramps

WTOP reports, “The outlines of new designs for toll lane ramps to and from Interstate 66 emerged Tuesday [May 9] in a presentation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.” VDOT’s Susan Shaw briefed the board’s transportation committee on the department’s I-66 Outside the Beltway project.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Washington (DC) Metro Region


ORB Contractor Prepares Transfer of Maintenance Responsibility to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

WDRB reports, “Walsh Construction crews are finishing up final projects in preparation [for] turning over Louisville’s new bridges and roads over to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Once that happens, the financial responsibility for operations and maintenance will also fall on KYTC.”

Indiana Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges


SC Lawmakers Override Governor McMaster's Veto of Road Funding Bill

Associated Press reports, “A law that takes effect July 1 will eventually provide more than $600 million annually to fix South Carolina’s crumbling roadways. The 32-12 vote in the Senate on Wednesday [May 10] to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto culminates a three-year legislative effort to find a reliable, steady stream of revenue for repairing South Carolina’s highways and bridges.”

South Carolina


Georgia Set to Reopen Fire-Damaged I-85 Bridge Next Week after $16.6 Million Reconstruction

WTVC reports, “Georgia officials say a section of a heavily used Atlanta interstate will reopen at the latest by next week, less than two months after it collapsed due to a large fire under a bridge.” The report adds, “Officials have said the bridge reconstruction will cost up to $16.6 million, most of which is expected to be covered by the federal government.”

Georgia Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)


Wisconsin Senate Leader Pushes Short-Term Borrowing and Long-Term Tolling

Associated Press reports that Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald “says he doesn’t think Assembly Republicans’ plan to fund road-building has any momentum. Fitzgerald told reporters during a question-and-answer session [on May 10] that he believes the best short-term solution is borrowing backed by the state’s general fund and the state should consider toll roads as a long-term way to fund roads. He says toll roads could generate billions of dollars.”



San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Stalls Vote to Study Tolling Lombard Street

San Francisco Examiner reports, “The plan to charge for cars to enter Lombard Street’s crooked portion just took a new twist. On Tuesday [May 9], Board of Supervisors President London Breed stalled a vote at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority that would have approved partial funding to study the plan’s implementation. ‘I’m having trouble with charging people to go down the street,’ Breed told the San Francisco Examiner.”

California San Francisco Bay Area (CA)


Former Indiana Governor Daniels Touts His Record on Transportation Infrastructure

The Indianapolis Star publishes an op-ed column by former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who notes in reference to the Indiana Toll Road lease deal, “From 2006-16, the state highway budget virtually doubled. A construction budget that had averaged $700 million per year shot up to over $1 billion every year, peaking around $1.5 billion. Almost one third of the state’s bridges, 1,400 in all, were rebuilt or replaced, and half the existing highway lane miles resurfaced. By the way, this all happened without a penny of new taxes or borrowing, and while the Toll Road itself was dramatically upgraded.”

Indiana P3 & Privatization


Columnist Suggests More P3s and Toll Projects Might Not Be in North Carolina's or Trump's Future

News & Record columnist Doug Clark looks at P3 projects in North Carolina and the political risks that toll-funded projects pose, concluding that, “I don’t see [North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper] driving into toll lanes in his first term — and Trump’s promises likewise might be detoured.”

North Carolina North Carolina Turnpike Authority P3 & Privatization


Police Make Arrest in Attempted Robbery of Newell Bridge Tollbooth

The Review reports, “A Wheeling [WV] man is facing charges after he reportedly attempted to rob a toll booth attendant at the Newell Bridge early Wednesday morning [May 10].” [Link inserted.]

Crime Beat Newell Toll Bridge (WV-OH)