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Rebuilding America: The toll of public-private partnerships (ARTICLE & VIDEO)

Rebuilding America: The toll of public-private partnerships (ARTICLE & VIDEO)

CBS NEWS
April 19, 2017, 4:14 PM

In our new series, Rebuilding America, we take a closer look at the country’s infrastructure.

President Trump is promising a major overhaul of America’s infrastructure, but his trillion-dollar proposal might not be enough. Public-private partnerships are widely expected to play a big role in his plan. In those types of partnerships, fewer taxpayer dollars are needed because private industry picks up some of the cost.

Virginia is a big believer in public-private partnerships. Officials points to successes like the 495 Express Lanes where drivers can choose to pay a toll to get around congestion. But those success have come with some costly mistakes.

Linda Dyer’s daily commute is taking a toll. Whenever she leaves home, she’s paying to use tunnels that used to be free. Spending about $1,200 a year in tolls, she’s thinking about moving elsewhere.

“My biggest concern – is it going to affect how easy it is for me to sell my house?” Dyer said.

Virginia agreed to a 58-year deal with a private company to modernize and expand the tunnels linking Portsmouth and Norfolk, two military towns separated by the Elizabeth River. The tolls to cross can run a driver $5.25 each way.

“The tolls have basically become a stigma to the population of Hampton Roads, between Norfolk and Portsmouth, mainly because of the fact that it’s almost putting up a wall between two cities inside of one community,” said Tony Goodwin, president of the Old Towne Portsmouth Business Association and a Trump voter... FULL ARTICLE & WATCH VIDEOS

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