British infrastructure developer John Laing has acquired for US$25 million a minority shareholding in I-77 Mobility Partners (I-77 MP), the company that will develop the I-77 Managed Lanes project in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I-77 MP, led by experienced managed lanes operator/investor Cintra, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation achieved financial close in May 2015 to deliver the I-77 Managed Lanes, a USD $665 million Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.
Once completed, the project will add 25.9 miles of dynamically priced, high-occupancy toll lanes to existing toll-free road capacity in order to alleviate congestion in the rapidly growing Charlotte metropolitan area.
This is John Laing's third investment in the US following investments in the I-4 Ultimate highway in Florida and the Denver Eagle P3 light rail project in Colorado.
Over the last 18 months, John Laing has strengthened its presence in the North American market and continues to work on a number of new opportunities.
Anthony Phillips, Managing Director, Primary Investment - North America at John Laing, said:
"The US is a key growth market for John Laing and we are delighted to expand our presence further. We are proud to be involved in the first PPP project for the state of North Carolina and look forward to partnering with local stakeholders to add travel time certainty and reliability to Charlotte residents ".
The project involves the addition of express toll-ways known as managed lanes, as part of the existing I-77 commuter highway into Charlotte. Under the concession agreement, I-77 MP will be responsible for ensuring a minimum speed along the managed lanes at all times. This will be achieved through the active management of dynamic toll rates which will be adjusted, up to every five minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
The project has been financed using equity, private activity bonds and a loan made available under the US Department of Transportation's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act programme.