Alligator Alley may be leased to private investors

| Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The part of Interstate 75 in Florida that’s referred to as Alligator Alley may be leased to private investors. The Miami Herald reports that the state DOT plans to start talking to investment banks and other potential investors in April.

Alligator Alley is already a toll road, but a lease deal would increase the tolls.

The Florida state legislature has already approved leasing highways, and an I-75 lease would require only the approval of the state budget committee.

To deal with a budget crisis, Florida lawmakers are expected to cut the state’s budget by as much as $2.5 billion, and proponents say leasing the interstate could generate as much as $1 billion in new income.

State Rep. Rep. Jack Seiler, a Democrat, was quoted by The Miami Herald as saying it would irresponsible to lease Alligator Alley.

“It’s a short-term solution, and in the long run we are going to regret it,” said Seiler. “At the end of the day I think its irresponsible of us to turn over a public asset for someone else’s private gain.”

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