Brisbane's troubled Airport Link tunnel to be sold

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Brisbane's troubled Airport Link tunnel to be sold

BrisConnections, the team that won the PPP contract for the Brisbane's Airport Link tunnel in Queensland (Australia), has announced the schedule for its sale.

BrisConnections composed of Macquarie Group, Thiess and John Holland, was announced as the preferred bidder on 19 May 2008, and the final contract was awarded on 2 June 2008. The team aims to launch the sale process in September this year and aims to finish the sale by early 2016.

According to Deed administrator Jamie Harris, Fort Street Advisers and Macquarie Capital will provide advice in the sale process.

The Airport Link tunnel is a toll road in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. It connects the city central business district and the Clem Jones Tunnel to the East-West Arterial Road which leads to the Brisbane Airport. The airport link and busway project involves 15 km of tunnelling including the road, 6.7 km of twin tunnels, busway tunnels and connecting ramps, as well as 25 bridges and result in over 7 km of new road.

The estimated construction cost of the project was A$4.8 billion (US$3.5 billion) and opened to the public on 24 July 2012.

BrisConnections ran into trouble due to the low traffic. In 2014 the traffic was only 47,802 trip/day and 51,577 trip/day by the second quarter of 2015 against the forecast of 135,000 trip/day.

BrisConnections was listed as a unit trust on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) via a $1.2 billion initial public offering (IPO) of installment receipts on 31 July 2008. The value of initial A$1 installments fell by 60 % on the first day of trading, and by late November had collapsed to 0.1c, the lowest possible price on the ASX.

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