John McGee, chief financial officer of the Arizona Department of Transportation, said last week that public-private partnerships could help solve at least part of the state’s transportation funding problem.

McGee told the Senate Natural Resources, Infrastructure, and Public Debt Committee that toll roads and private operation of highway rest areas could bring in millions of dollars a year to the agency.

“P3s are not a panacea for the state’s long-term transportation funding,” McGee said. “However, they can be an important component of the development of transportation facilities.”

Gasoline tax revenues are declining in the state because vehicles are more fuel-efficient, he said, and more people are using public transportation.

McGee said AzDOT saved $60 million through private-public cooperation on a project to expand a highway between Tempe and Mesa by requiring the builder to design the project, based on specifications from the state.

Allowing private companies to build and operate rest areas, which is allowed under a recently enacted state law, could save the state $12 million per facility, he said.

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