Skip to comments.Spanish firm using loan from U.S. to build segments of Texas toll road
Posted on 03/14/2008 4:23:23 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Officials with the Spanish toll road operator Cintra have announced that the company has secured $430 million in loans from the U.S. government to build and operate two segments of a toll road in central Texas.
Cintra officials announced the companys financial plan for the $1.36 billion Highway 130 segments on Monday, March 10.
OOIDA Senior Government Affairs Representative Mike Joyce told Land Line that the Association does raise red flags when federal dollars are used to subsidize private investors. Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are not, however, categorically opposed to a state using future toll revenue to pay off bonds.
Im skeptical of any funding schemes that involve the private sector, Joyce said.
Truck tolls on Segment 5 and Segment 6 of Highway 130 are contracted to be 50 cents per mile when the road opens. The 50-year contract includes a formula for increases. Tolls for cars will start at 12.5 cents per mile.
Cintra and its partner in the project, Texas-based Zachry American Infrastructure, signed a contract a year ago to design and build a 40-mile portion of Texas Highway 130, a tolled bypass of Austin running parallel to Interstate 35 in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.
The first four segments of the Highway 130 project, totaling about 50 miles, are part of the Central Texas Turnpike System constructed from 2002 through early 2008 with bonds issued through the Texas Transportation Commission. Tolls on those sections are being used to pay the bonds on the first four segments.
The Cintry-Zachry consortium, formed in 2005, expects to begin construction next year on Segment 5 and Segment 6 of Highway 130 on rights of way leased from the Texas Department of Transportation. The 40-mile section is scheduled to open in 2012.
A similar Cintra-Zachry partnership is designing the first leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a proposed 4,000-mile network of toll roads and railway lines to increase the flow of freight and people from South Texas to the U.S. heartland.
Cintra also has a 55-percent share of the lease for the Indiana Toll Road and a 50-percent share of the Chicago Skyway lease. The company partnered with companies affiliated with Macquarie Bank of Australia for those deals.
For the Highway 130 segments being built by Cintra-Zachry, TxDOT has agreed to provide and pay for back office functions including toll collectors, other staff, call center, equipment, transponders and maintenance for the roadway.
Cintras financing will come from a 35-year, $430 million loan from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 a U.S. Department of Transportation program for jump-starting construction along with a $686 million private bank loan and $197 million in shareholder equity. Cintra will also draw on other equity accounts, officials stated in a press release.
The TIFI Act program is designed to match a certain percentage of the cost for a road built using private sector money. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters stated in a press release that the TIFI Act loan will give Highway 130 the push it needs.
OOIDAs Joyce points to the comparison between Cintras 35-year loan from the federal TIFI Act program and the 50-year concession agreement for Segments 5 and 6.
We know that theyre looking to turn a profit, he said.
Click here to read some quick facts and figures posted by Cintra about Highway 130.
Click here to read contractual documents on the project posted by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
for reference — geez
Sounds about right.
So these guys are going to operate just these two segments, 5 & 6.
Obviously, another entity is operating segments 1-4.
How many segments are there?
Sounds like an expensive road to drive on....
This is a joke, right?
You’ll have to contact Land Line to figure that one out.
Conservative estimate, that's equivalent to $2.50 per gallon of gasoline.
What in the hell, the government doesn't have the money to build roads but the have money to loan the Ben Laden family and the Saudis to build the damn road. Way to go republicans.
Here is a lot of info on the 3Ps. Browse thru the table of contents and you find a couple of sections on the TIFIAs.
So, what is the connection between Cintra, the Bin Laden family, and the Saudis, anyway?
Macquarie Bank Doing business as Macquarie Infrastructure Group and dozens of subsidiaries. This Australian banking giant is the No. 1 power player, having produced some big numbers in the past couple of years. As the U.S. DOT began encouraging and supporting privatized infrastructure, Macquarie gobbled a couple of key projects. The company landed the Chicago Skyway lease with a $1.83 billion bid in 2005 and the Indiana Toll Road lease with a $3.85 billion bid in 2006. Macquarie partnered with another high roller Cintra out of Spain to swing the Indiana deal. Macquarie also has 100 percent interest in the South Bay Expressway in San Diego and the Dulles Greenway in Virginia near Washington, DC, and 30 percent control of the 407 Express Toll Route in Ontario, Canada. The Australian giant has expressed interest in possible private leases of both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Expressway in New Jersey, as well as the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes. Macquarie is also bidding to build and operate four private toll roads near Dallas, and a private toll road near Montreal, Canada. And in a strategic move, Macquaries media division recently purchased 40 newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma for $80 million. Thats almost as good as buying up all of the utilities in the old Parker Brothers game. See: http://www.landlinemag.com/Archives/2007/Mar2007/news/pass_go_collect_billions.html
What a country.. for foreigners.
I pray to God someone finds a way to torpedo this soon.
Your prayers have been answered, by the democrats.
You should vote for the democratic presidential candidate because they have both said that they will create the National Infrastructure Bank to take care of these road problems.
And the best part of it is that they say it won't cost you a penny. They will pay for it by ending the Iraq war and taxing wealthy Americans/Corporations.
I'd swear that I read it was a 70 year contract somewhere; DEIS, townhall meeting material, hidden secret documents that have made it to the surface? Also, aren't Zachary and Cintra owned by the same Spanish company?
Reminds me of a one-frame cartoon I once saw, with a guy standing at a teller window and saying, “What do you mean, ‘insufficient funds?’ With all the money this bank has?” One of the comments on this thread is reality imitating art.
As far as I know, H.B. Zachry is not Spanish-owned. Cintra, IIRC, is owned by Ferrovial SA, which is a Spanish company itself.
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