San Diego to buy bankrupt toll road (Is it a good deal?)

As reported recently by the LA Times, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is considering purchasing the South Bay Expressway (State Route 125), located near the US-Mexico border, for $345 million. The 10-mile toll road was initially expected to exemplify the benefits of public-private partnerships for highway construction. However, drivers sought out other routes to avoid paying the toll and, with traffic counts more than 50 percent below projected levels, the road’s operator filed bankruptcy in March 2010. If SANDAG’s purchase of the facility goes forward, tolls are expected to be reduced, but how much traffic it can lure back to the expressway with the lower rates remains to be seen.