Press Club

After Bankrolling Lawsuit, Taxpayers May Be Billed For HOT Lane Construction

In an ironic twist, Arlington taxpayers, who have already paid nearly three quarters of a million dollars to fight the state and federal plan to build high occupancy toll lanes on I-395, may end up partially footing the bill for the eventual construction of the lanes.

Uriah Kiser of InsideNoVA.com reports that state transportation officials are considering a plan that would use taxpayer dollars to supplement private funding for the construction of HOT lanes. Previously, officials had said that the lanes would be wholly funded by a private company, in exchange for a long-term lease on the lanes.

The two companies in contention for building and leasing the lanes — Texas-based Fluor and Australia-based Transurban — have both had difficulty finding investors for the project. The companies have also recently donated a large sum of money to the Virginia Republican Party.

The private law firm representing Arlington County in its lawsuit against the HOT lane plan has been paid $744,000, according to the Sun Gazette.

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