NCDOT Secretary: Cintra bankruptcy in Texas irrelevant to I-77 contract

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 3/7/2016

After announcing a trip to Texas to examine Cintra’s bankruptcy filing, North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Nick Tennyson indicated what happened with the SH 130 toll road should not affect the Interstate 77 toll road contract, according to a Charlotte Observer report.

By direction of Gov. Pat McCrory, Tennyson was scheduled to meet with Texas Department of Transportation officials on Monday, March 7, to gather information about the Cintra bankruptcy. Cintra, a Spanish-owned infrastructure developer, announced last Wednesday that it filed for bankruptcy in the Western District of Texas because of outstanding debt of loans for the SH 130 toll road.

After a regional summit on transportation infrastructure, Tennyson told reporters that Cintra’s situation in Texas would have no bearing on the I-77 toll contract.

“There is nothing about an independent project or an independent entity having financial trouble that affects our contract,” Tennyson told reporters.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Tennyson pointed out the governor has asked for a full report outlining all available options. A timeline for the report has not been set.

Cintra also owns the Indiana Toll Road and Chicago Skyway. In September 2014, Cintra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Cintra more than doubled rates after acquiring the Indiana Toll Road, leading to reduced traffic. Less than a year later, Cintra and partners put the Chicago Skyway up for the sale.

According to a lawsuit filed by Widen I-77, an anti-toll advocacy group, Cintra has faced legal trouble overseas as well. Several allegations of bribery and corruption were mentioned in the lawsuit, including one case that is still pending in Spain.

Related stories:
NCDOT responds to Cintra bankruptcy filing in Texas
Cintra files bankruptcy for Texas SH 130 toll road debt

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