In one of her first acts of office, U.S. Department of Transportation
Secretary Mary Peters approved a request from Texas to use private-sector funds
to pay for work on a highway near Dallas - work that would be done by a private
In a DOT press release, Peters said Texas can move ahead
with issuing $1.8 billion in so-called "private activity bonds" for work on
State Highway 121.
"The best way to get commuters moving again is to give
states more options to pay for and build vital transportation projects," said
Peters in her written statement.
As part of new surface transportation legislation signed by
President Bush last year, states can issue and transfer to private companies up
to $15 billion in tax-exempt bonds, known as Private Activity Bonds, to finance
a range of highway, freight and transit projects.
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, Texas officials want to
repay the loan using toll money collected on the new road.