John Laing invests in North Carolina’s I-77 project

The UK-based developer has added a third US transportation asset to its portfolio by acquiring a minority stake in the toll road project for $25 million.

London-headquartered developer John Laing has acquired a minority stake in the company developing the Interstate 77 (I-77) managed lanes project in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The firm has paid $25 million for an undisclosed ownership interest to I-77 Mobility Partners, the Cintra-led consortium that was selected to design, build, operate and maintain the 25.9-mile project. A spokesperson for John Laing declined to comment.

The $665 million project, which reached financial close last May, will add 25.9 miles of dynamically priced, high-occupancy toll lanes to existing toll-free road capacity in order to alleviate traffic congestion in Charlotte’s metropolitan area.

According to North Carolina’s Department of Transportation (NCDOT), construction is expected to take 3.5 years, with completion slated for 2018.

“The US is a key growth market for John Laing and we are delighted to expand our presence further,” said Anthony Phillips, managing director for primary investment at John Laing.

The acquisition marks John Laing’s third investment in the US transportation sector. In 2010, John Laing was part of the consortium that was awarded the Denver Eagle P3 light rail project in Colorado, along with Fluor and Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments.

More recently, the UK-based company partnered with Skanska in a 50-50 joint venture to develop the I-4 Ultimate highway project in Florida. The $2.3 billion scheme reached financial close in October 2014.

John Laing, along with ACS Infrastructure, is one of four shortlisted teams for the $1.8 billion I-70 East project in Colorado.

Last October, it also featured among the companies that responded to California’s Request for Expressions of Interest for a portion of the $67.5 billion high-speed rail project.