International consortium wins multi-billion dollar Texas project

LBJ Development Partners, whose leading partner is Spanish toll road developer Cintra, will spearhead the design and construction of the $4bn New LBJ freeway project, the largest of its kind in the US.

The Texas Transportation Commission has awarded the contract for the $4 billion New LBJ project to LBJ Development Partners, a partnership of US and international organizations including Macquarie Capital, Cintra, Ferrovial Agroman and Meridiam Infrastructure Finance.

Toll roads:
hot in Texas

The vote clears the way for LBJ Development Partners to begin financing, designing and constructing the 13-mile LBJ-635 corridor in North Texas as part of a public-private partnership. The project is the largest of its kind in the US, and will involve rebuilding the eight existing lanes of the freeway and adding six managed toll lanes.

Construction is expected to begin by fall 2009 and take up to five years to complete, while LBJ Development will operate and maintain the corridor for 52 years. The state of Texas will retain ownership of the roadway at all times, and while LBJ Partners will retain the majority of the toll revenue during the bulk of the contract, the North Texas Tollway Authority will be paid to handle toll collection.

LBJ Development, which also includes WW Webber and Bridgefarmer & Associates, had been in competition for the project with the LBJ Mobility Group, also composed of several private companies such as Dragados USA, Zachary Construction Corp. and ING. The former’s proposal was deemed by the commission to provide the best value and greatest return on the investment of taxpayer funds.

“Partnering with the private sector allows us to stretch $445 million taxpayer dollars to deliver an asset worth approximately $4 billion to the region,” Texas Transportation Commission chair Deirdre Delisi said in a statement.

Lead LBJ Development partner company Cintra, a toll road company based in Spain, has been expanding its operations in Texas of late, including helping construct and manage 40 miles of state highway between San Antonio to Austin.