Cintra, InfraRed, Macquarie to bid for Texas toll road P3

A $585m revenue risk concession for SH 288 in Texas has garnered three bidders.

A shortlist for a ‘pure’ toll road concession in Texas has green lighted Cintra, InfraRed Capital Partners and Macquarie Group to bid, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The Department published a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Texas State Highway 288 (SH 288) in the spring. The 10.3-mile SH 288 toll road project is a $535 million revenue risk public-private partnership (PPP; P3).

Three teams qualified to bid on the P3, TxDOT said, including:

-‘Mobility Alliance,’ with Macquarie Capital and OHL Concesiones;

-‘Blueridge Transportation Group,’ a consortium of Grupo ACS, InfraRed Capital and Shikin & Binui, and;

-‘SH 288 Mobility Partners,’ led by Cintra.

TxDOT has deemed the 74-year-old north-west “highly congested” from US Route 59 (US 59) to the end of Harris County. In 2011, the Texas Transportation Commission (TCC) let the Department put the project out to tender as a P3.

The design, build, finance, operate, and maintain concession for SH 288 has a 52-year lease.

The use of revenue risk – in which a private toll road operator is paid based on traffic volume – is somewhat unusual in America these days. More often than not, recent US toll road P3s will be structured via an availability payment structure, where the private partner receives payment for keeping the asset available in good condition.

In America, the Chicago Skyway toll road lease, the Indiana Toll Road P3 and the South Bay Expressway project relied on revenue risk for compensation.