A nationally-recognized transportation consultant suggests Missouri can get more bang for the buck if it considers more public-private partnerships. Transportation Consultant Shirley Ybarra says public-private partnerships are not a silver bullet….but they can be used to provide services and facilities that states alone cannot afford. Ybarra has told a state seminar on the future of interstate highways that government and private companies bring complementary skills to the issue…She says such partnerships have been used for decades…although they fell out of use in the mid 80s. One eye-opening recent partnership is the leasing of the Chicago Skyway toll road to a Spanish-Australian private company for 99 years….guaranteeing the Illinois Department of Transportation 1.8-billion dollars. She says a number of companies in this country—with a lot of money—are suddenly interested in partnering with states on similar projects. But she says such deals should not be made without thorougly understanding what each side expects…and provides. Ybarra was speaking to a state conference on the future of interstate highways.
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