Study assesses failed turnpike lease plan

March 24, 2009 10:58:41 AM PDT
An independent study of the unsuccessful plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private company says officials could have done a better job selling it to lawmakers. The Pew Center on the States sought to draw lessons from the Pennsylvania project for other states considering similar public-private transportation projects.

Authors of the study say financial assumptions about the project were overly optimistic and that the Rendell administration lacked a clear plan for spending the new revenue. They also said the debate focused too much on short-term issues and not enough on the long term.

A partnership between a Spanish company and a unit of Citigroup made the highest bid - $12.8 billion for a 75-year lease, but the plan died last year for lack of legislative support.

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