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The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Cintra, a subsidiary of Spain's Ferrovial, have achieved an agreement to extend the deadline for the financial close of the I-77 in North Carolina (USA).
Under the original terms Cintra was required to secure financing by 22 January 2015. The terms also allowed Cintra to extend the deadline 120 days by increasing its security deposit. The new terms extend the deadline to 19 April without penalty.
The design includes 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.
The total project investment is estimated at US$655 million.
Construction works are scheduled to begin in 2015. The new road is expected to be operational by 2018.
NCDOT announced in April 2014 that the consortium had been selected as the apparent best value proposer. Commercial closure for the project was achieved in June 2014.
In November a local group of citizens was pressing to halt the development of the project. The group was against tolling the highway and is requesting government officials to take another look at widening the highway using conventional lanes, not high occupancy tolled lanes (HOT).
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