IRVINE, Calif. -- California Private Transportation Co. has completed $125 million in bank financing, allowing it to start construction next week of the first privately owned and operated toll road in the United State in 50 years.

Citicorp arranged the financing package with Banque Nationale de Paris and Societe Generale.

The 10-mile highway will serve as express lanes in the median of the Riverside Freeway in Orange County, Calif. Tolls will be collected using an automated vehicle-identification system. It is the first private-sector demonstration project authorized by a 1989 state law.

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