THE GRASSROOTS PUBLIC/PRIVATE TOLL MOVEMENT - THE LAKE OF THE OZARKS COMMUNITY BRIDGE

From the 1930's through the 1960's, most of the toll-financed transportation facilities in the U.S. were large, statewide initiatives, such as the New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Kansas Turnpikes. When the toll movement was reborn in the form of innovative financing in the late 1980's and early 1990's, many of the proposed projects were mega-projects, such as the Orange County Tollroads and Denver's E-470. From the mid-1990's into the 21st century, a new type of toll project has emerged - the relatively small, regional project which integrates the strengths of private and public financing to meet community and regional transportation needs. The Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge, in the State of Missouri, is a successful prototype of this new grassroots public/private toll project. Construction of the 2,695-foot (821 m), $18.2 million toll bridge began in March, 1996. Opened in May, 1998, the bridge connects the east and west sides of the Lake of the Ozarks, a popular recreation and resort attraction in central Missouri. The bridge is owned and operated by a private, not-for-profit corporation - the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge Corporation (LOCBC). The project was financed through the sale of $40.1 million in tax-exempt toll revenue bonds by the LOCBC. The LOCBC was Missouri's first transportation corporation, formed under the 1990 Missouri Transportation Corporation Act, which authorized the formation of non-profit corporations to develop and advance transportation projects. The bridge project is a joint effort of the LOCBC and the Missouri Department of Transportation, which funded and constructed the $5.5 million approach roadways to the bridge and provided technical assistance to the LOCBC for the bridge project. For these grassroots projects to be successful, they must address a public need, be driven by private-sector opportunity, be authorized by enabling legislation, represent a viable project concept, and be implemented through a public/private partnership. The Lake of the Ozarks Bridge project will be described through each of these factors, and lessons learned which apply to other project opportunities will be discussed. The author believes that, although such projects may not represent the leading edge of transportation privatization, these small to mid-size projects are more within the "institutional comfort zone" of state DOT's, regulators, designers, contractors, and investors. Therefore, they are more implementable and may offer more real opportunities to improve our transportation systems.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: SIXTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TRANSPORTATION PLANNING FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED COMMUNITIES, SEPTEMBER 16-18, 1998, SPOKANE, WASHINGTON

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00778500
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 29 1999 12:00AM