Transurban, the major investors in the toll concession on the $1.4b project to widen the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Virginia to 12 lanes have gone to financial close June 12 on $589m of Private Activity Bonds. The 40-year tax exempt bonds are costing Transurban a weighted average interest of 4.97%, an improvement on the 5.35% when the initial steps in the financial close were reported in December.
Tampa Hillsboro Expressway Authority (THEA) has called off negotiations with Plenary, the preferred concessionaire to develop a 5km (3 mile) North Tampa East-West Road (NTEWR). THEA exec director Joe Waggoner says in a letter to the Vancouver BC company that their toll rates and a proposed 60 year concession term are "not acceptable."
Brenda Znachko, chief financial officer and deputy exec-director at Mississippi DOT says the Jackson Airport Parkway is a financially "strong" project. She says a traffic and revenue study by URS is being finalized, and will be released at an industry workshop, compulsory for bidders, in Jackson July 1.
RFQ's will be due August 1.
Support for a lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike has surfaced with the announcement that two influential politicians are sponsoring enabling legislation - House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans, a long serving Democrat representative from the northern part of Philadlephia, and Republican Appropriations Committee member Steve Cappelli, who represents the Williamsport area just north of I-80.
Jordi Graells managing director of Abertis the majority equity holder in the Abertis-Cit partnership selected by the Governor of Pennsylvania for a longterm lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike said today they will be moving very cautiously on all-electronic tolling. At a minimum he said it would be ten years.
All-electronic tolling (AET), also called 'cashless' would eliminate all toll collector jobs.
Mississippi DOT is looking for investor groups to develop a new highspeed toll link between downtown Jackson and the Airport - 20km (12 miles) of expressway including a major new bridge over the Pearl River. The project which goes back nearly two decades has also been known as the Airport Parkway and MS25 Connectors because a lot of the expected traffic will come from north and east of the Airport - Flowood, Perl, Brandon and the Ross Barnette lake.
Virginia DOT is seeking proposals from investors to make about a billion dollars of improvements to the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels and the MLK Extension in return for a longterm toll concession. The project consists of building:
- a new 2-lane tunnel under the tidal Elizabeth River parallel to the existing Midtown Tunnel
- perform improvements to the existing Midtown Tunnel (2 lanes single tube)
US secretary of transportation Mary Peters has expressed enthusiasm for the $12.8b Abertis/Citi proposal for a longterm lease concession of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It appears on Fast Lane", the official Blog of the Secretary: see http://fastlane.dot.gov/, scroll down to May 20:
Peters writes, and we reproduce it in full:
"Pennsylvania Receives Largest Ever Transportation Private Investment Bid
An Abertis presentation to investors says the estimated shareholder return (IRR, Internal Rate of Return) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike concession is in "the low double digits." 11 or 12 percent? They say the concession "meets the company's stringent investment criteria."
An official told us the company and its partners had gone "right to the edge" in their best and final offer. They were very keen to be selected.
With a bid of $12.8 billion an Abertis/Citi team has been selected as the concessionaire in a 75 year lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The bids were received in a second round of best-&-final offer bids last Friday (May 16). #2 bidder was Transurban/Goldman Sachs at $12.1b.