Hindsight Is 20/20 When Looking at Highway 121

With a decrease in traffic inciting North Texas Tollway Authority to consider increasing toll fees, some are suspecting that, in retrospect, the price paid for Highway 121 might have been too high, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The NTTA purchased the highway from Texas Department of Transportation for a steep $3.2 billion in 2007. It beat out a bid from Spanish firm Cintra, which offered $2.8 billion and a 50-year contract to finish the road.

Back when traffic was more abundant and the economy less beleaguered, the deal seemed like a good plan for both sides. Now that the situation has changed, NTTA must find a way to pay its creditors the owed $6.1 billion, and increasing toll fees looks like its only option.

But with traffic already down from people wanting to save money, higher fees might only deter them from using the roads further.

Many argue that the NTTA might have avoided some of the current pressure by not paying such a high price to begin with.

“'Yes, it did [pay too much for the highway]. Both in what it paid and in the way it was paid,” NTTA vice chairman Victor Vandergriff told the Dallas Morning News.

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