When a New Jersey state senator proposed nearly two weeks ago to raise $6 billion by selling half of the state's two major highways to shareholders, it wasn't just another New Jersey Turnpike joke. Instead, it was a sign that there is growing incentive among several sectors for innovative toll road financing. That, according to some ABS market professionals, includes toll road securitization in the U.S.
A couple of major recent toll road privatizations has got the U.S. ABS market giving more serious thought to the scheme. Chicago broke ground with the first privatization of a U.S. toll road when it leased the Chicago Skyway to the Skyway Concession Co. for $1.8 billion. Indiana soon followed by leasing the Indiana Toll Road to Statewide Mobility Partners for $4.7 billion.