During a press conference, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell revealed that Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citigroup, Inc. won the bidding to lease Pennsylvania’s greatest asset for 75 years with a cash offer of $12.8 billion. If the Legislature approves the contract to lease the Turnpike, the Governor does not plan to pursue the tolling of I-80.
Jim Runk, president of Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), issued the following statement in response to this announcement:
“The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) is concerned with the current state of Pennsylvania’s aging infrastructure, but the Governor’s solution to effectively sell our Turnpike for 75 years does not meet the needs of the transportation community at large. We continue to advocate for viable, long-term alternatives that will put the public’s best interest ahead of the for-profit drive of a private entity. We remain committed to pursuing an equitable solution and to discussing any and all options for solving this statewide problem.
“We Pennsylvanians are anxious to repair our transportation infrastructure, but with the federal government planning to evaluate it on a national level in 2009, we should be leery of speeding forward with a plan that does not take federal solutions into account. If we bypass a thoughtful and transparent debate on how to best manage these necessary improvements, we risk punting the ramifications of a near-sighted solution to our children. We urge legislators to consider whether this proposed solution will truly improve travel for Pennsylvania motorists along our main artery.”