Spanish firm using loan from U.S. to build segments of Texas toll road

Officials with the Spanish toll road operator Cintra have announced that the company has secured $430 million in loans from the U.S. government to build and operate two segments of a toll road in central Texas.

Cintra officials announced the company’s financial plan for the $1.36 billion Highway 130 segments on Monday, March 10.

OOIDA Senior Government Affairs Representative Mike Joyce told Land Line that the Association does raise red flags when federal dollars are used to subsidize private investors. Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are not, however, categorically opposed to a state using future toll revenue to pay off bonds.

“I’m skeptical of any funding schemes that involve the private sector,” Joyce said.

Truck tolls on Segment 5 and Segment 6 of Highway 130 are contracted to be 50 cents per mile when the road opens. The 50-year contract includes a formula for increases. Tolls for cars will start at 12.5 cents per mile.

Cintra and its partner in the project, Texas-based Zachry American Infrastructure, signed a contract a year ago to design and build a 40-mile portion of Texas Highway 130, a tolled bypass of Austin running parallel to Interstate 35 in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.

The first four segments of the Highway 130 project, totaling about 50 miles, are part of the Central Texas Turnpike System constructed from 2002 through early 2008 with bonds issued through the Texas Transportation Commission. Tolls on those sections are being used to pay the bonds on the first four segments.

The Cintry-Zachry consortium, formed in 2005, expects to begin construction next year on Segment 5 and Segment 6 of Highway 130 on rights of way leased from the Texas Department of Transportation. The 40-mile section is scheduled to open in 2012.

This is a sad case of being completely sold out by our Government.

First, we allow firms from other Countries to come into the United States an put in toll roads. The reason given is that they were able to give the best bids.

Then, we see just why they were able to do so, Our United States Government is handing over $430 Million to these people.

If these people are going to be able to bid on our jobs, they need to be able to fund it with their own money. This is just disgusting.

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