Tag Archives: Cintra

“MegaProject: Express Mobility Partners signs Virginia’s I-66 road PPP project”

InfraPPP | December 12, 2016

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), which establishes the administrative policies for Virginia’s transportation system, has signed a Comprehensive Agreement with Express Mobility Partnersto build express lanes on I-66 Outside the Beltway.

Express Mobility Partners, a consortium of Cintra, Meridiam, Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers VA, Inc., will finance, design, build, maintain and operate the project under the Public-Private Transportation Act.

The consortium was chosen by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) as Preferred Proposer in early November. Cintra and Meridiam will be responsible for project development. Ferrovial Agroman, with local construction company Allan Myers VA, Inc. will handle design and construction.

The project involves building 35 kilometers along the I-66 corridor between Route 29, in the environs of Gainesville, and I-495, the Capital Beltway, in Fairfax County. The project aims to transform Northern Virginia’s I-66 outside the Beltway into a multi-modal corridor that moves traffic and people quicker and in a more reliable way.

With three regular lanes and two managed lanes in each direction, the new section of highway will expand capacity, improve mobility and enhance driver safety, as interchanges will also be upgraded to reduce congestion. The project also envisages new and expanded transit service and park-and-ride lots, with direct on- and off-ramps from the managed lanes.

The winning bid will provide approximately US$2.5 billion in construction, US$800 million in net present value for transit capital and operating improvements over the term, US$350 million in net present value for other corridor improvements over the term, and US$500 million for other corridor improvements at financial close next year.

The construction works could be done in phases. Financial closure is expected next summer. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2022, and the concession runs for 50 years.

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“Meridiam consortium named preferred proposer for Virginia’s Transform 66 project”

December 12,  2016 | ITS International

A consortium of Meridiam, CintraFerrovial Agroman US, Allan Myers VA, Janssen & Spaans Engineering, the Louis Berger Group and American Structurepoint has been named Preferred Proposer by the Commonwealth of Virginia for the State’s Transform 66 Project.

I-66 Express Mobility Partners will design, build, finance, maintain and operate the I-66 Outside the Beltway project under the Public Private Partnership (P3) Transportation Act. The project is designed to relieve congestion, improve safety and provide more predictable travel times for Northern Virginia and Washington, DC metro region.

The I-66 Outside the Beltway Project extends 22 miles along the Interstate 66 corridor outside of the Beltway, Once completed, it will provide significant upgrades to one of the East Coast’s most highly congested corridors, including three regular lanes in each direction and two express lanes in each direction with a state-of-the-art open-road electronic toll collection system.

It will also provide direct access between the express lanes and new or expanded commuter lots, mew and expanded transit service and park-and-ride lots; and interchange improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion.

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“I-66 Express Lanes to Take Four Years, $2 Billion”

Private Company to Keep Tolls for Next 50 Years

Traffic along Interstate 66 is going to get worse before it gets better as construction crews will be adding express lanes for the next four years.

From the Capital Beltway to Gainesville, Virginia, state officials said travelers will have a better ride with the express lanes, which will run alongside three regular lanes. The construction will be extensive, taking some private property along the corridor.

“It’s a lot of construction. $2 billion, roughly,” said Susan Shaw, ‎Mega Projects Director and Design-Build Program Manager at Virginia Department of Transportation. “There are some total takes. Those are still anticipated with the project. We did minimize that. It is what we showed in our plans last year.”

The concept for the lanes is the same as the other express lane networks in the Washington area. Three or more people in the vehicle get to use the lanes for free. Those vehicles with fewer than three people will pay a toll that changes based on traffic conditions.

Drivers are promised a speedy trip of at least 55 mph in the express lanes, including during rush hour. Virginia is contracting with a private company which will build, maintain and operate the lanes. Taxpayers won’t pay a dime for construction, but the private company gets to keep the tolls for the next 50 years.

Source: I-66 Express Lanes to Take Four Years, $2 Billion | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I-66-Express-Lanes-to-Take-Four-Years-2-Billion-400327631.html#ixzz4PQsbVSep
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“Cintra-Led Team Tapped for Virginia Express Lane P3 Project”

Consortium will build, manage 22 miles of I-66 upgrades near nation’s capital


ENR | November 7, 2016

A consortium led by the U.S. subsidiary of Spanish toll road developer Cintra will take on the Virginia Dept. of Transportation’s latest suburban Washington, D.C., express lane project—winning the nod to build and manage 22 miles of improvements along the I-66 corridor outside the I-495 Capital Beltway.

According to a VDOT statement, Express Mobility Partners—which also includes the firms Meridiam, Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers Va. Inc.—will finance, design, build and maintain two full-time dynamically priced toll lanes in each direction between the Beltway and Gainesville, Va., replacing existing peak-hour HOV lanes and retaining the three full-time open travel lanes.

VDOT estimates the project, including the 50-year operations concession, will total $2.5 billion.

The selection follows a reworking of VDOT’s P3 procurement process, which had been criticized for its lack of accountability and competition in several recent public-private awards. By retaining the option to pursue the I-66 project on its own, at an estimated initial cost of nearly $1 billion, VDOT says it achieved “far more financially competitive” bids.

In addition to requiring no up-front public funding, Express Mobility Partners’ financing plan includes an initial $500-million contribution toward additional transportation improvements in the I-66 corridor. During its 50-year concession, the consortium will also fund $800 million in transit service, and contribute $350 million for other corridor work.

Transurban, VDOT’s partner for express lane projects on the Capital Beltway and I-395/95 corridor, teamed with Skanska in an unsuccessful bid for the I-66 job, with a financing strategy that required a public subsidy. The company continues to move forward on an 18-mile extension of the I-95 express lanes south to Fredericksburg.

Plans call for the I-66 project to reach financial close in mid-2017, with the five-year construction phase to begin soon afterward.

The award is Cintra’s first win since it elevated Belen Marcos to head the company’s $8-billion U.S. portfolio, announced on Oct. 18.

Marcos most recently served as CEO of Cintra’s combined three-project operations in the Dallas area—the North Tarrant Express, LBJ Express and construction of the NTE 35W project. Alberto Gonzalez will replace Marcos as CEO of the three projects. He previously served as deputy CEO.

According to Cintra, the LBJ Express opened ahead of schedule in 2015 and “has been described by the Texas Department of Transportation as the most comprehensive, complex project of its type in the country.”

She takes over from Nicolas Rubio, who was promoted to be Cintra’s Global Operations Director based in Madrid, according to a company statement. Th company says its global portfolio includes 1,200 miles of managed highway miles that represents more than $21.6 billion in road improvement investment.

But its portfolio also includes a spate of underperforming toll road operations and maintenance concessions such as the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road. Earlier this year, the Cintra co-owned company responsible for operating SH 130 near Austin, Texas, filed for bankruptcy citing lower than expected toll revenue.

“Va. names private consortium to build, operate I-66 express lanes”

WASHINGTON — Proposed toll lanes on Interstate 66 west of the Capital Beltway will require no upfront funding from Virginia and the state will get a $500 million payment from the company selected to build the lanes.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that the state will ink a 50-year deal with bidder I-66 Express Mobility Partners to build and operate the lanes, which would run from the Beltway to Gainesville. The deal is separate from a plan to add rush hour tolls along I-66 east of the Beltway.

Cintra, Meridam, Ferrovial and Allan Myers teamed up to submit the selected bid. Ferrovial, which owns Cintra, is a Spanish company that has been involved in a series of similar toll road deals elsewhere in the country, some of which have fallen through.

The firms have pledged to spend $800 million on transit projects over the next 50 years. They plan to spend another $350 million to improve mobility through the 66 corridor. The firms will be responsible for all upfront costs and all maintenance of the lanes.

“And just for icing on the cake, on top of all of that, Express Mobility Partners will write the Commonwealth of Virginia a check for $500 million that we’ll receive early next year,” McAuliffe said.

He called the deal a model for other states considering similar projects.

“Tolling revenue is very important. It is also very lucrative,” McAuliffe said. “If we are going to give tolling revenue away, we’re going to negotiate a very, very tough deal.”

Transurban and Skanska combined for the second bid under the name Express Partners. Transurban, an Australian company, operates the 95 and 495 express lanes and is expected to soon convert the 395 HOV lanes to express lanes.

State officials were willing to publicly finance and build the project without a private partner, which McAuliffe said helped negotiate a better deal for taxpayers.

With no upfront state funding needed, $300 million in state road funds that had been allocated for the express lanes project would be available for other projects.

The two competing bidders had been allowed to include up to $600 million in state funding in their financial proposals.

Under the terms, two express lanes would be built in each direction. The lanes will operate similarly to express lanes that run along Interstates 495 and 95 in Virginia.

Construction is expected to begin next year and the lanes should open to traffic in 2022.

Like other express lanes elsewhere in the region, cars with three or more occupants and an E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode will travel for free. Cars with one or two people will pay a toll that adjusts based on the number of vehicles using the lanes.

A higher toll is meant to discourage drivers from using the lanes in order to keep traffic moving. Lower tolls at times when there are fewer cars in the lanes are meant to attract drivers to the lanes.

This deal is separate but related to plans to toll solo drivers during the rush hour on I-66 east of the Beltway. Tolls are set to begin in mid to late 2017 for drivers traveling east in the morning and west in the afternoon.

Virginia plans to raise the HOV requirement from two to three people once the express lanes west of the Beltway open, expected in 2021.

The proposed agreement states that changes to HOV rules inside the Beltway that would lower the number of passengers required to qualify as a high occupancy vehicle or that would reduce the length of the tolling periods would likely result in a payment from the state to the companies operating the toll lanes outside the Beltway.

“Governor McAuliffe Announces Selection of Private Sector Team to Finance and Deliver I-66 Outside the Beltway Project in Northern Virginia”

~ Reformed P3 process increases competition, resulting in $2.5 billion savings for Virginia ~


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Commonwealth has selected Express Mobility Partners to build express lanes on I-66 Outside the Beltway, following a 16-month procurement process. Express Mobility Partners, a consortium of Cintra, Meridiam, Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers VA, Inc., will finance, design, build, maintain and operate the project under the Public-Private Transportation Act.

“This project will transform travel in the I-66 corridor and pave the way for additional multimodal options that will reduce congestion and commute times,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Both teams that submitted bids for this project met the criteria the Commonwealth set for it, but Express Mobility Partners’ proposal was the best for Virginia from both a technical and financial standpoint.”

The selection is the culmination of the first major procurement process to follow Virginia’s reformed Public-Private Partnership (P3) process, which was designed by the McAuliffe administration and the General Assembly to increase competition, accountability and transparency in P3 projects after several high profile problems.

Governor McAuliffe continued, “This project will benefit Virginia’s economy and our quality of life and it will be built at a $2.5 billion net savings for taxpayers thanks to reforms my administration has made with the General Assembly to our Commonwealth’s Public-Private Partnership process.  P3’s are a powerful tool for procuring new projects, but they only work if taxpayers’ interests are protected. The reforms we have established strengthened Virginia’s negotiating position for this project and helped us secure the right project for the right price for taxpayers.”

An analysis conducted using the P3 process that was in-place when the Governor took office estimated that the project would require an investment of between $900 million and $1 billion of public funding from Virginia taxpayers to secure a bid from a private sector partner. Following the reforms to the process and the Governor’s announcement that the Administration was willing to finance, build and operate the entire project without a private sector partner, Virginia received two bids that were far more financially competitive than the original analysis.

The proposal announced today will require zero public investment and will actually result in an upfront payment from Express Mobility Partners of $500 million to fund additional improvements in the corridor. Additionally, the comprehensive agreement will require Express Mobility Partners to pay $800 million for transit service in the corridor and $350 million in other projects to improve the I-66 corridor over the next 50 years.

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne added, “I am proud to say that, under Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, Virginia has learned the lessons of previous poorly-negotiated projects and established a P3 process that is more competitive, transparent and accountable. Those reforms have strengthened Virginia’s negotiating position for this project and resulted in a significantly better deal for taxpayers. I look forward to overseeing the completion of this partnership agreement and undertaking this project so that Virginia families and businesses can benefit from reduced congestion and increased options in the I-66 corridor.”

The following are business terms between the state and Express Mobility Partners:

  • Express Mobility Partners will have the right to collect and set dynamic tolls on the 66 Express Lanes for 50 years;
  • Express Mobility Partners will be responsible for all costs to design, build, operate and maintain the 66 Express Lanes, without any upfront public contribution;
  • Express Mobility Partners will provide $500M at financial close as a concession payment to the Commonwealth;
  • Express Mobility Partners will contribute $800M over the next 50 years to build and operate transit projects in the I-66 corridor;
  • Express Mobility Partners will provide $350M over the next 50 years to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for future additional projects to reduce congestion in the I-66 corridor;
  • The Commonwealth has agreed to provide compensation to Express Mobility Partners if the WMATA Orange Line is extended during the next 10 years or if additional general purpose lanes are added to I-66 in the project limits. Neither project is likely to happen within that timeframe; and
  • There are no restrictions on HOV usage or alternative facilties.
  • Project description:
  • Multi-modal improvements to 22.5 miles of I-66 corridor from I-495 in Fairfax County to University Boulevard in Prince William County.
  • Two express lanes alongside three regular lanes in each direction, with space in the median for future transit  (vehicles with three or more people travel the express lanes for free and all other drivers have the choice to use the express lanes when paying a variable toll,  general purpose lanes free to all traffic)
  • 13 new and improved transit routes and more than 4,000 new park-and-ride spots
  • Corridor-wide bike and pedestrian improvements
  • Safety and operational improvements at key interchanges throughout the corridor

“VDOT has a strong track record in working with the private sector through the complexities of delivering a massive project safely, on time and on budget,” said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. “The public will have more travel options and a reliable trip on I-66 Outside the Beltway. We have worked extensively on the environmental study of this project, so we have the right project that will yield the greatest benefits.  We are ready to deliver.”

Delegate Chris Jones said, “I am proud of the major bipartisan reforms we have made to the Commonwealth’s P3 process. These improvements have increased competition which will save taxpayer resources and result in better transportation projects that benefit our regions and the Commonwealth as a whole.”

Virginia Senator David Marsden added, “The Governor’s announcement on I-66 Outside the Beltway promises to make significant improvements to the quality of life and business climate for Northern Virginia.  I am proud to support the Governor’s historic bipartisan agreement reached during session to unlock I-66 and his P3 reforms which have allowed the Commonwealth and Northern Virginia to stretch transportation dollars to more and more projects. This Administration has handled our transportation policies and resources in a very responsible and forward thinking way.”

Supervisor Martin Nohe, Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and Prince William County Board of Supervisors said, “The Governor has partnered with Northern Virginia localities to transform I-66 Outside the Beltway. Today’s announcement is a game changer for our region as it will not only unlock I-66, but the increased competition of the P3 process which was championed and implemented by the Administration is going to result in huge savings that will allow us to make even more major transportation improvements throughout the region.”

VDOT is expected to sign a comprehensive agreement with the team in early December, with financial close in mid-2017. Project construction to begin in 2017 and the express lanes will open to traffic in mid-2022.

Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne will give a detailed update on the project to the P3 Advisory Committee Meeting Briefing later this afternoon from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the VDOT Central Office Auditorium, 1221 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. There will be no public comment. The meeting will be live-streamed here.

For more information, please visit www.transform66.org.


To view the published release, please visit: https://goo.gl/oSNi9m


“Report by union questions record of finalist for I-66 project”

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:30 pm

A labor union is taking aim at the track record of one of the firms under consideration by the Virginia Department of Transportation for the $2.1 billion Interstate 66 Outside the Beltway project, in a report published Monday that highlights a series of bankruptcies and disputes over past projects by the company.

The report on Ferrovial, a Spanish multinational company that operates infrastructure such as toll roads and airports and provides municipal services, was released by Unite Here, which represents 270,000 workers in the hotel, gaming, airport, food service and other industries.

Called I-66 Express Mobility Partners, Ferrovial; its subsidiary Cintra; Meridam, a real estate investment and development company; and Allan Myers, a heavy construction and materials company, are one of two consortiums being considered for the “Transform66 Outside the Beltway Project.”

The public-private project plans to turn 25 miles of the highway from U.S. 15 in Haymarket to Interstate 495 into what VDOT is calling “a multimodal corridor that moves traffic and people more efficiently,” via three regular lanes in each direction, two express lanes in each direction, high-occupancy toll lanes, high-frequency bus service and new or expanded commuter park-and-ride lots.

The union says it seeks “to inform decision makers, elected officials and the public about the past performance of Ferrovial and its subsidiaries,” including bankruptcies, toll hikes, revenue projections that fell far short and questions about transparency in projects in Texas, North Carolina and Indiana.

“Our general interest is just to make sure the contracting and bidding process happens with the maximum amount of transparency and public outreach,” said Arthur Phillips, a research analyst for the union and the report’s author. “That benefits our members who in this case live in Virginia and work at the airports and depend on public infrastructure to get around.”

VDOT intends to announce a preferred bidder with which to begin final negotiations for the I-66 project in early November, said Transportation Secretary Aubrey L. Layne Jr., who added that he and his staff are aware of the issues raised in the report but don’t see them as disqualifying.

“Quite frankly, I’m very comfortable with their ability to do the construction and operate the contract,” Layne said. “The key will be making sure the state will be protected in the deal if something goes bad.”

The union was “led to the company” as it began advocating for airport concession workers, like restaurant employees, as negotiations between Denver International Airport and Ferrovial to privatize the airport’s Jeppesen Terminal continue, Phillips said.

In Texas this year, Ferrovial subsidiary Cintra abandoned State Highway 130, a toll road between Austin and San Antonio, about four years after it opened, filing for bankruptcy and handing ownership to its lenders. About $551 million is owed to the Federal Highway Administration, the San Antonio Express-News reported in August. Unite Here’s report also references a dispute with the Texas Department of Transportation over maintenance and construction problems on the highway, where traffic was 60 percent below initial forecasts.

In Indiana, Cintra-affiliated ITR Concession Co. offered the state $3.8 billion in 2006 to operate a 157-mile toll highway across the northern part of the state before declaring bankruptcy eight years later. And Canadian drivers have complained about toll hikes on the Cintra-owned Highway 407 in Ontario, the Toronto Star has reported.

Another Cintra project, a $648 million agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to widen Interstate 77 and add 26 miles of toll lanes, has faced major opposition, including a bill to cancel the contract that overwhelmingly passed the state House of Representatives but deadlocked in the Senate this past summer.

A major concern is a contract provision that the state compensate Cintra if any future interstate improvements result in a decrease in toll revenue, the report says.

“We think that these things on their own merits are very important for the public to be aware of before committing to a project of this magnitude,” Phillips said.

Patrick Rhode, a Cintra, spokesman, said the company had no comment on Unite Here’s report.


The other consortium under consideration, called Express Partners, consists of Skanska, a large multinational construction company, and Transurban, an Australian firm that gave up its long-term concession to the Pocahontas 895 between Henrico and Chesterfield in 2014 amid mounting debt.

“There’s only a handful of companies that really do this,” Layne said. “All these guys have run into problems before.”

Layne said legislation passed last year that changed how the state handles public-private partnerships, or P3s, means the state’s level of exposure is much more limited.

“There will be significant performance standards put into any contract going forward,” Layne said, adding the public subsidy for the project is capped at $600 million.

Both consortiums vying for the concession are required to obtain two independent rating-agency assessments of their traffic and revenue projections.

“If these things are structured correctly, there is very little risk to the state. The tolling risk is passed on and that’s how they get paid,” he said.

The “P3” legislation was passed in the wake of a failed attempt to turn U.S. 460 into a toll road that cost taxpayers $260 million, a deal that also involved a Ferrovial-affiliated company.

“When you look at the companies that compete in this sphere, they’ve all got some problems that you can point to,” said Trip Pollard, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center who has opposed the U.S. 460 project. “Their involvement per se doesn’t raise any red flags. … Much more important to me are the terms of the contract and is this adequately vetted.”

Previous estimates for expanding capacity on I-66, if VDOT were to take on the job on its own, were about $1 billion, not including transit improvements, Layne added, noting that bringing in the private sector allows the state to get much more for its money.

“We’re perfectly happy to do the job ourselves, unless we get a better deal with the private sector,” he said, adding that the state can take possession of the road if Cintra fails, with the risk falling on its investors.

“We negotiated from a position of strength: ‘We’re going to build this road. If you can beat our terms, great.’ ”