4/6/2007Massachusetts: Report Documents Toll Road Mismanagement
Report finds that mismanagement threatens the financial viability of Massachusetts toll roads.
The Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission last week released a report documenting mismanagement of state's road network, including mismanagement of toll roads. The report issued a dire warning about the broad decline in the quality of roads and the selling-off of assets to mask deficit spending.
"The Massachusetts transportation system is in deep financial trouble," the report states. "Virtually every transportation agency in the state is running structural deficits and resorting to short-term quick fixes that hide systemic financial problems."
The report points to overly generous retirement packages that have driven wage expenses beyond a sustainable level. The Metropolitan Highway System toll road, for example, sold property in Allston to Harvard University in a deal that carries significant financial risks depending on interest rates. Several other states have begun selling entire roads to foreign companies in a similar attempt to boost short-term revenue.
"Another response of the Turnpike Authority to this funding squeeze has been to underfund maintenance," the report states. "It would be a mistake of epic proportions to fail to properly maintain the (road) after spending nearly $15 billion to construct it."
A full copy of the report is available in a 490k PDF file at the source link below.