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Ferrovial, through a consortium led by subsidiary Cintra Infraestructuras, on Friday was appointed the apparent best value proposer to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 26 miles (41.8 kilometres) of the I-77 in North Carolina (USA) under a concession contract.
The projects represents an investment of approximately US$655 million (around €478 million). The 50-year concession begins once the road is open to traffic, expected in mid-2018.
Enrique Díaz-Rato, CEO of Cintra, said:
"It is a privilege for Cintra to be part of the solution to the traffic congestion problem in Charlotte, North Carolina."
Financial closure of the project is expected in the coming months and construction will begin in early 2015.
The design includes road widening, in both directions, along 26 miles (41.8 kilometres) of the I-77 in the metropolitan area north of Charlotte, between the junctions with the I-277 in Charlotte and the NC-150 in Iredell County. To improve traffic in one of the fastest-growing areas of the state, the existing highway will be rebuilt and capacity will be increased by creating managed lanes, subject to variable electronic tolls, which will help reduce congestion and improve traffic flow in the corridor.
The project is divided into three segments: on the southern segment (2.2 mi, 3.5 km), the existing section will be upgraded and two managed lanes will be built in each direction. on the central segment (14.9 mi, 23.8 km), the existing lanes will be upgraded and two managed lanes will be built in each direction. on the northern segment (8.8 mi, 14.2 km), the consortium will build one new managed lane in each direction.
Managed lanes are the most advanced, safe and reliable tolling system in the market. Since the tolls are barrier-free, vehicles need not stop. Moreover, using a dynamic tolling system, the concession holder ensures that the average speed on the managed lane is at least 80% of the established speed in the toll-free segment.
Including this project, Cintra's investment under management in the US amounts to €10.4 billion. Other consortia led by Cintra are working on the NTE and LBJ Express expansions, in Texas, as well as operating the Chicago Skyway, Indiana Toll Road and SH130.