Pennsylvania to consider privatization of turnpike

| 11/15/2006

A bipartisan commission in Pennsylvania has recommended the state privatize its east-west turnpike.

The Transportation Funding and Reform Commission has recommended to the state legislature that Pennsylvania enter public-private partnerships with investors to turn the 531-mile turnpike into a privately funded and maintained highway.

A state transportation official also says Pennsylvania may explore turning Interstate 80 into a toll road, but that would require federal approval.

I-80 is about 130 miles shorter than the turnpike. Both connect New Jersey with Ohio.

The state legislature is due to complete its session Nov. 30. Reuters has reported that the issue of privatization isn't likely to be resolved in the legislature until next session, which begins in January 2007.