The Portsmouth Bypass will provide Ohio's first test case of public-private partnership on a major transportation project. As such, the news about the project's ballooning costs could have been better.
"Ohio’s largest road project and first public-private partnership will cost taxpayers nearly three times its announced price tag of $429 million," reports Pick Rouan.
"The state will pay about $1.2 billion over the life of a 35-year agreement to build and maintain the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, a 16-mile link between Rts. 23 and 52 that will help drivers skirt the Ohio River city of Portsmouth, financial documents show."
As Rouan explains, the inflated expenses came after interest, financial-transaction costs, and maintenance were added to the estimate. The $429 million estimate only covered construction costs.
The article includes a lot more detail about the project and the implications of debt financing for a state that rarely uses it.
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