ICA buys $405m Mexican toll road

Empresas ICA purchased the Barranca Larga-Ventanilla toll road in Oaxaca, Mexico, from Grupo Omega. The 104km highway is expected to help support tourism.

Mexican developer ICA acquired the 30-year concession agreement for the 104-kilometre Barranca Larga-Ventanilla toll road in Oaxaca, Mexico, from Grupo Omega for Mx$5.35 billion ($405 million; €308 million).

ICA, short for Ingenieros Civiles Asociados, said the original contract, with the Ministry of Transportation, or SCT, entailed the construction, operation, exploitation and maintenance of the toll road.

Mexico City-headquartered ICA called the toll road a “high-speed communication link” between the Pacific coast and Oaxaca, expected to enable “economic integration”. Economically Oaxaca, considered historically significant because of its rich indigenous culture, is reliant on tourism, which is responsible for 30 percent of its commerce.

In addition to Barranca Larga-Ventanilla, the state government has been campaigning to build surface infrastructure, such as the Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido-Huatulco highway, to in turn help support its tourism industry.

“The Barranca Larga-Ventanilla toll road is a key project for improving transportation and spurring economic development in Oaxaca,” confirmed Alonso Quintana, ICA chief operating officer, in a press statement.

Barranca Larga-Ventanilla, a four-lane highway, should cut travel time between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido, a Pacific coast resort town, by an hour and a half. ICA is anticipating construction on the toll road should be completed by 2015.

Publicly traded ICA is the largest construction and infrastructure company in Mexico, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.