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An In-Depth Look at the Indiana Toll Road Bankruptcy

Angie Schmitt and Payton Chung have created a three-part series on the Indiana Toll Road and how its example informs the use of private finance to build and maintain highways.
November 24, 2014, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The first article details how the high profile bankruptcy of the Indiana Toll Road (back in September) came amidst "excitement about an 'emerging market' in privately-financed American road-building…" The article details the signs that should have indicated trouble ahead for the road as well as the potential fallout from the bankruptcy (which has since been resolved by a bankruptcy court).

The second article examines how Australian firm Macquarie manages its infrastructure assets. Macquarie was one of two firms who bought the Indiana Toll Road in 2006 for $3.8 billion, which at the time was the largest infrastructure privatization deal in U.S. history. Unrealistic projections and highly leveraged financing package meant the company quickly racked up debt on the deal, but the article explains how Macquarie still managed to make money off the project.

The third article examines the faulty traffic projections that pave the way for bad projects as well as some of the costs paid by public as a result of bad investments. Infrastructure financing and construction firms, according to the article, have financial reasons to inflate traffic projections, which has lead to unnecessary highway construction all over the country. 

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Published on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Streetsblog USA
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