In a prior post, Paul O’Malley posed a question about the non-compete provision in the proposed Toll Road lease. It was hard enough to find and is an important enough question, that I thought I’d make it the subject of a separate post.
One of the things that the State gives up in return for the $3.4 billion Toll Road payment is the right to improve US 20 such that it becomes a “comparable highway” or otherwise build a “competing highway.”
With respect to US 20, this means that the State cannot make that highway “a divided 4 or more controlled access interstate quality highway with interchanges, interstate quality bridges or combination or portion thereof.” With respect to other roads, the State cannot build any newly-constructed interstate quality, divided 4 lane roads, at least 20 continuous miles of which is within 10 miles of the highway.
The “non-compete” provision can be found at Section 14.1(e) of the Agreement, with the relevant definitions found at Section 1.1 (page 4).
Unless the construction constitutes a Competing Highway, development, redevelopment, construction, maintenance, modification or change in the operation of any existing or new mode of transportation (including a road street or highway) is not prohibited.