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Project Profile: Central Texas Turnpike System

Central Texas Turnpike System

photo credit: Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)


Austin, Texas Metropolitan Area

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

Program Area

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceTolling and PricingValue CaptureTIFIA


Toll Highways


When the TIFIA loan closed, the Central Texas Turnpike System (CTTS) - now simply referred to as Austin Area Toll Roads - consisted of three contiguous toll highways serving the Austin metropolitan region and the Austin-San Antonio corridor:

  • SH 45 North - 13 miles, four to six lanes, from Ridgeline Boulevard west of U.S. 183 eastward to SH 130
  • Loop 1 - a northward extension of the existing Loop 1 (Mopac Expressway), three miles from Parmer Lane to SH 45 North
  • SH 130 (Segments 1-4) - a 49-mile, four-lane tollway extending north-south through Williamson and Travis Counties, extending from I-35 north of Georgetown to US 183 southeast of Austin.

SH 130 (Segments 1-4) was procured through Texas' first application of its Exclusive Development Agreement (later Comprehensive Development Agreement) provision, contractual arrangements equivalent to public-private partnerships. In this case, a design-build contract was used to accelerate completion.

All three components are open. In November 2006, Loop 1 and portions of SH 45 and SH 130 opened to traffic. The remainder of SH 45 opened in April 2007. All of SH 130 (Segments 1-4) was open by April 2008.

SH 130 is 91 miles in total length extending further south and west to I-10. Segments 5 and 6 were constructed under a separate DBFOM (design, build, finance, operate, and maintain) procurement. In August 2012, State Highway 45 Southeast (SH 45 SE) was added to the Central Texas Turnpike System. Service commenced on November 11, 2012.


Total - $3.250 billion

  • Design and Construction - $822.8 million (SH 45 North and Loop 1); $1.282 million (SH 130 Segments 1-4)
  • Right of Way (ROW) - $403.4 million
  • Interest, insurance, debt issuance costs, and reserve fund - $741.5 million
Funding Sources

Total - $3.250 billion

  • First tier revenue bonds/notes - $1,358 million
  • TIFIA loan - $900 million (used to retire Bond Anticipation Notes [BANs] in 2007 and 2008)
  • State funding - $520.1 million
  • Local contributions/Commission funds for ROW - $286.5 million
  • Interest earnings/accrued interest - $185.2 million
Project Delivery / Contract Method

SH 45 North - Design-bid-build

Loop 1 - Design-bid-build

SH 130 (Segments 1-4) - Design-build

Private Partner

Lone Star Infrastructure (joint venture of Fluor Corporation, Balfour Beatty Construction and T.J. Lambrecht Co) - SH 130 (Segments 1-4)

Project Advisors / Consultants

HDR - Program management


Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. - Traffic & Revenue

McCall, Parkhurst & Horton, LLP - Bond counsel

RBC Capital Markets Corp. - Financial advisor

The Bank of New York Mellon Trust - Trustee


  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Montague DeRose and Associates, LLC/TransTech Management, Inc.

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

All CTTS elements opened between November 2006 and April 2008

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $917 million approved; however TxDOT only requested $900 million.

The DOT had a subordinate lien on gross revenues (i.e., prior to operations and maintenance costs) and the trust estate. Revenues were defined as all income and revenues derived from the operation of the system, including all tolls, any other sources of revenues or funds derived from or attributable to the system, and interest income.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

TIFIA credit agreement was signed on July 25, 2002. Of the approximately $2.2 billion in capital market debt, $900 million was issued as low interest BANs maturing in 2007 and 2008. In June 2007, TxDOT used its first draw of TIFIA loan proceeds in the amount of $124,930,000 to retire the 2007 BANs, and subsequently retired $775,070,000 in 2008 BANs with a second draw of TIFIA loan proceeds in June 2008.

TIFIA interest payments began in February 2010. On February 15, 2015 the Texas Transportation Commission repaid its $900 million TIFIA loan. The project's strong performance facilitated a refinancing to pay off the TIFIA loan 27 years ahead of schedule.

  • Use of innovative financing and a fixed-price, lump-sum design-build contract for SH 130 delivered the CTTS components 25 years sooner than conventional pay-as-you-go financing would have delivered.
  • Components were delivered ahead of schedule and less than the original 2002 cost estimate.
Related Links / Articles

TxDOT Austin Area Toll Roads

CTTS Bonds


Benjamin Asher
Director, Project Finance, Debt and Strategic Contracts
Tel: (512) 463-8611

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