North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) chairman Paul Wageman is quoted: "There is very little or no credit out there right now and the access to the credit markets are almost non-existent." So they are being innovatory.
Feds move to prevent repeat of Pennsylvania's Act 44 - must get market valuation for concession to toll interstateBy Peter Samuel on October 8, 2008
The Federal Highway Administration is moving to prevent repeats of Pennsylvania's attempt to hand I-80 to the state Turnpike for tolling to generate funds for other state projects. Under a proposed formal Rule (Federal Register 73/196 p58908 2008-10-08) state DOTs will be required to obtain a fair market valuation as part of a concession agreement for tolling facilities built with federal dollars.
Abertis is better off not having had its $12.8b accepted for the Pennyslvania Turnpike concession, according to a leading European concessions analyst. In an email this morning Steven Fernandez, who follows concession stocks for Exane BNP Paribas says that the deal was generally perceived in European investment circles as too expensive for Abertis' good.
Exane BNP Paribus is a large European securities firm head-officed in Paris.
Abertis board of directors decided today to let their joint bid with Citi for the Pennyslvania Turnpike lease expire. They had twice previously extended the bid of $12.8 billion from the initial expiry date of June 20 in the hope of getting legislative approval for their deal with Governor Rendell. The deal which would have given the Abertis-Citi group a 75 year toll concession formally expired for lack of enabling legislation 5pm eastern time (09/30 17:00).
The Abertis-Citi current offer of $12.8 billion for a 75 year lease/concession of the Pennsylvania Turnpike expires next Tuesday Sept 30, and signs are it won't be extended. Last week a senior officer of the two companies was saying that without movement on enabling legislation this month, they were done.
Following the Federal No to tolling I-80 on Thursday (2008-09-11) Governor Ed Rendell immediately called for enabling legislation to proceed with the agreed lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Abertis/Citi team which has a $12.8 billion offer in effect until Sept 30. Rendell says "It's the only plan." He says without it the state is back into financial crisis.
Two groups submitted proposals Friday for the approx-$1.5 billion upgrades to I-595, south Florida's east-west mega-highway/distributor project. It involves upgrades of the present 8 lane interstate with discontinuous frontage roads to a basic 19 lanes along 17km (10.5 miles) of the highway to a 3/5/3/5/3 lanes format, Texas style.
Abertis-Citi teamed to run the Pennsylvania Turnpike concession if Governor Rendell gets support from the legislature next month will be releasing a Turnpike reform manifesto next week. Speaking from a car phone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike which kept losing signal - and provoked exasperated curses for the Turnpike's "outdated" technology - the concessionaire's chief lobbyist Jim Courtovich told us the group is releasing a Turnpike reform manifesto.
Abertis which is leading the joint venture selected by the Rendell Administration to operate the Pennsylvania Turnpike under a longterm lease concession assesses the score in the state lower house at 47 in favor and 53 against, according to Joe Grata writing in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. He quotes Abertis US chief Jordi Graells as giving these numbers during a meeting with the newspaper's editorial board.
The Wall Street Journal whose reporting of the toll business is generally sparse today (pA1 2008-08-26) frontpaged the proposed $12.8b toll concession of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Reporter Craig Karmin apparently got in to talk to the main champion state governor Ed Rendell who told him that leasing the Turnpike "is a decided underdog."