(1) In addition to the powers now possessed by it, the department of transportation has power:
(a) To formulate, by its own initiative or by recommendation of the governor, plans for the development and improvement of the state highway system by the construction of turnpikes within the state and to conduct engineering surveys and perform any other acts necessary in determining the feasibility of such plans. “Turnpike” means any highway or express highway, tunnel, or toll tunnel constructed under the provisions of this part 2 and includes all bridges, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, entrance plazas, approaches, toll houses, service stations, and administration, storage, and other buildings which the department of transportation may deem necessary for the operation of such turnpike, together with all property, rights, easements, and interests which may be acquired by the department of transportation for the construction or the operation of such turnpike.
(b) To design, finance, construct, operate, maintain, improve, and reconstruct turnpikes in the state and to acquire, construct, operate, control, and use the turnpikes and all works, facilities, and means necessary or convenient to the full exercise of the powers granted in this section. It is declared that such turnpikes are public highways of the state.
(c) To take all steps and adopt all proceedings and to make and enter into all contracts or agreements with other states, the United States, or any of its agencies, instrumentalities, or departments, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the reconstruction finance corporation or with public corporations within the state necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this part 2; but any contract relating to the financing of any such construction, maintenance, improvement, or reconstruction shall be approved by the governor before the same becomes effective;
(c.5) To make and enter into contracts or agreements with one or more public or private entities to design, finance, construct, operate, maintain, reconstruct, or improve a turnpike project by means of a public-private initiative pursuant to section 43-3-202.5 and part 12 of article 1 of this title;
(d) To establish, revise periodically, and collect fees, fares, and tolls for the privilege of traveling along and over the turnpikes and for such other uses as may be made available by the establishment of such turnpikes, to adopt such rules governing the use of the turnpikes as the department of transportation may determine to be advisable, and to exercise such other powers and authority as may be necessary or convenient to the practical and full operation and use thereof;
(e) To set aside in a special sinking fund and to pledge any and all fees, fares, and tolls and all income however derived to the payment of the principal of and the interest on the bonds authorized in this part 2 to be issued;
(f) To set aside in a special sinking fund and to pledge from the proceeds in the state highway fund derived from the imposition of licenses, registration, and other charges with respect to the operation of any motor vehicle upon any public highway of the state and the proceeds from the imposition of any excise tax on gasoline or other liquid motor fuel an amount sufficient to insure the payment of the principal and interest on the bonds authorized in this part 2 to be issued promptly as the same respectively become due; except that any such pledge shall first be approved by joint resolution of the senate and house of representatives and further except that the amount so set aside and pledged shall not exceed in any one year one hundred percent of the total of the following:
(I) The amount of principal and interest falling due during such year; and
(II) The amount required to be paid into the special sinking fund as a reasonable reserve for the payment of the bonds authorized in this part 2 in accordance with the resolution of the transportation commission authorizing their issuance as approved by the joint resolution of the senate and house of representatives.
(g) To accept grants and permits from and to cooperate with the United States or any agency, instrumentality, or department thereof in the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, improvement, operation, and financing of turnpikes or their appurtenances and to do all things necessary to avail itself of such cooperation;
(h) To designate as a turnpike project a described territory or a described portion of the highway system of the state to be constructed or improved under this part 2;
(i) To cooperate, negotiate, and contract with other states in any manner necessary to effect the purposes of this part 2;
(j) To require that each contractor to whom is awarded any contract for the construction, erection, repair, maintenance, or improvement of any turnpike, as defined in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), shall, before entering upon the performance of any work included in said contract, execute, deliver to, and file with the department of transportation a good and sufficient bond to be approved by the department of transportation in an amount to be fixed by the department of transportation, which amount shall be not less than twenty-five percent of the total amount payable by the terms of said contract. Such bond shall be duly executed by a qualified corporate surety, conditioned for the faithful performance of the contract according to the terms thereof, and, in addition, shall provide that, if the contractor or his subcontractors fail to duly pay for any labor, materials, motor vehicle or team hire, sustenance, provisions, provender, or other supplies used or consumed by such contractor or his subcontractor or contractors in performance of the work contracted to be done, the surety will pay the same in an amount not exceeding the sum specified in the bond, together with interest at the rate of eight percent per annum.
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