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Toll-Road Woes Show Risk of Loans Lawmakers Aim to Expand

Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are united in pushing an eightfold boost to a loan program designed to attract private highway funding, even as revenue gaps in existing projects may cause taxpayer losses.

Of the six open highways backed by the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, one reorganized in bankruptcy at an upfront cost to taxpayers of $79.5 million; a second probably needs its debt restructured; and the rating on a third is six notches below investment grade, according to Fitch Ratings reports and government records.