I-77 project to move forward and TIFIA loan requested

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I-77 project to move forward and TIFIA loan requested

Superior Court Judge Osmand Smith III has denied a request to delay the I-77 highway PPP project in North Carolina (USA).

In November 2014 a local group of citizens pressed to halt the development of the project. The group was against tolling the highway and was requesting government officials to take another look at widening the highway using conventional lanes, not high occupancy tolled lanes (HOT). Finally the request has been denied.

Ferrovial, through a consortium led by its subsidiary Cintra Infraestructuras, was awarded the PPP project in April 2014. Commercial closure was achieved last summer.

The team is now seeking US$189 million in funding through the US Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. (TIFIA). The TIFIA program provides Federal credit assistance to nationally or regionally significant surface transportation projects, including highway, transit and rail. Specifically the program provides Secured loans, Loan guarantees and Lines of credit

The total project investment is estimated at US$655 million.

The project involves widening 26 miles (41.8 km) of lane in both directions on the I-77 in the northern part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, between connections with the I-277 in Charlotte and the NC-150 in Iredell County. The project is divided into three sections, and the existing road will be rebuilt, increasing its capacity by creating managed lanes (with variable electronic tolls) that will improve traffic flow.

The project will be developed on a design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) basis. The 50-year concession starts from the date the infrastructure opens to traffic.

Cintra is one of the world's leading private sector developers of transportation infrastructure in terms of the number of projects and the volume of investment. It currently manages 2,180 kilometres of toll roads in 27 concessions in Canada, the US and Europe. Cintra is the largest shareholder in the 407 ETR concessionaire, in Ontario, Canada, with a stake of 43.23%.

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