Macquarie bidding on several Texas toll roads

| Monday, January 29, 2007

The Australian investment company Macquarie believes there’s money to be made in Texas these days. Not only did Macquarie’s media division buy 40 community newspapers last week, but its infrastructure division is bidding on several toll road projects in the Lone Star State.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation Web site, Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia is the dominating name on a list of about two dozen companies bidding on toll road projects, five in all. The companies are packaged together in corporate conglomerations of four or five, and the groups carry a variety of names.  

Macquarie Infrastructure Group is the name of a consortium bidding to build a toll road in northern Dallas – a 23-mile extension of state Highway 121 to U.S. 75. Macquarie’s name also appears on three other toll road bids.

When that contract is awarded, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, it will be worth about $2 billion.

The Macquarie name may be familiar to Land Line readers because of the Indiana Toll Road, which the Australian company leased from the state of Indiana with partner Cintra of Spain for $3.85 billion in cash. The consortium will profit from the toll revenue and maintain the road for the next 75 years.

Along with leasing existing roads, companies like Macquarie and Cintra are hoping to win contracts to build new roads. Both are involved with proposals to build new roads in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

TxDOT reports that Macquarie groups are involved in the bidding to build U.S. 281/Loop 1604 around northern San Antonio; the Interstate 635 loop north and east of Dallas; and state Highway 161 connecting U.S. 180 and U.S. 183.  All of those routes would be toll roads.

In several of the proposals, Cintra and Macquarie are competitors for the contracts. State Highway 130 is an example. Macquarie is not bidding. Cintra, however, is.

Each project has a separate contract.

TxDOT is currently reviewing the submitted proposals.

– By David Tanner, staff writer
David_tanner@landlinemag.com

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