Statement of Florida PIRG’s Advocate Brad Ashwell On Legislation to Stop The Lease and Sale of Alligator Alley

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Brad Ashwell

Florida PIRG

“Florida PIRG supports Senator Aronberg’s efforts to slow down FDOT’s plans to lease Alligator Alley.

“America’s roadways should be operated for the long-term public interest not private profit. The profits for these companies will increase with greater traffic, higher tolls and less investment in the roadway – interests directly at odds with those of the public.”

“From what we know about a potential Alligator Alley privatization deal, it would be much like taking out a sub-prime second mortgage on your house. It will be a heavily leveraged and risky way to borrow against the future income without taking the responsible route of fixing FDOT’s longer-term finances.”

“The public has good reason to be concerned about the Alligator Alley lease proposal. Discussions on other road privatization plans around the state have so far been along lines far less potentially damaging to the public.’

“For example, the Miami tunnel deal and I-595 plans have sought to establish arrangements to pay a private road builder a set fee for keeping lanes available and in good working order, rather than establishing a toll concession where a road operator has an interest in maximizing tolls and traffic volume along with a right to sue the state if policies impinge on their potential traffic volume.”