MegaProject 154: Florida Accepts Unsolicited Proposal for SR-54&56 Toll Road
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Florida state transportation officials have accepted an unsolicited proposal from private investors who want to build and operate an elevated toll road in the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor in southern Pasco County, Florida.
The private entity International Infrastructure Partners LLC, created by a local construction industry figure Gerald H Stanley, has teamed up with Spanish infrastructure developer OHL. The team has the financial support from Guggenheim Partners.
The team submitted the unsolicited proposal to the Florida Department of Transportation last summer. In late August, Florida DOT sought competitive proposals for developing SR 54 & 56, an east-west belt route toward the northern edge of the Tampa metro area as a toll concession under a long term lease of the right of way. However, there are no news regarding the submission of any additional proposals.
According to the proposal submitted by International Infrastructure Partners LLC, which wasn't made public until last Wednesday, the consortium made an initial offer of $1.05 million per year for the duration of the lease. The consortium would negotiate tolling rates and other revenue-sharing proposals with state transportation officials. The initial lease would last 45 years but could be extended to 99 years.
Debbie Hunt, director of transportation development for DOT's district 7 office, said:
"The proposal is very vague. The devil is in the details. The first step was deciding is it worth moving forward to negotiate, and it was."
Stanley said to the local press: "if everything works out perfectly" construction could start as early as late 2015.
However other sources indicated that the timeline might be unrealistic if the toll road intersects I-75, which could take 2-7 years to get federal approval.
The proposal includes the upgrade of a 2x3 lane surface arterial FL54/56 to a tolled expressway in a 33 mile (52km) corridor between Newport/Richey at US19 near the Gulf Coast to Zephyr Hills at US301. The proposed phasing includes:
- Phase 1 the central portion of about 10 miles from Bruce B Downs Blvd near I-75 west to the Suncoast Parkway Toll-589.
- Phase 2 of 12 miles would extend the pike west to the coast at New Port Richey and US19 near the coast.
- Phase 3 of 11 miles would go east from Bruce Downs Blvd near I-75 to US301 at Zephyrhills.