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Project Profile: SH 288 Toll Lanes Project

SH 288 Toll Lanes Project - Houston, Texas

photo credit: Drive288 Website

Location

Houston, Texas

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Texas Department of Transportation

Program Areas

P3Project FinanceTolling and PricingTIFIA

Mode

Highway / Toll Highway

Description

SH 288 is a 61-mile highway between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico providing a vital route for commuters, freight and commercial trucking, and hurricane evacuation. The highway's configuration has remained essentially unchanged since 1984. It extends from I-45 in downtown Houston to US 36 in Freeport, intersecting three major orbital roadways in the metropolitan region: I-610, Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8), and SH 6. SH 288 links the major employment center of downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center with the rapidly growing residential communities of Harris County and Brazoria County.

The SH 288 Toll Lanes project is located within Harris County and involves the development, design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of four new toll lanes that extend 10.3 miles along the median of SH 288, as well as the maintenance of the existing general purpose lanes along the SH 288 corridor. The project also includes the reconstruction of 75 percent of the I-610 interchange, the addition of direct connector ramps at Beltway 8, and 1.3-mile direct connector ramps to the Texas Medical Center (TMC Connector).

The project will provide onward links to an extension of the SH 288 managed lanes in Brazoria County:

  • The Brazoria Project (North) will be procured, financed, and constructed separately by Brazoria County; it includes four toll lanes extending from the Harris/Brazoria County line south to County Road 58 for approximately 5 miles.
  • The Brazoria Project (South) begins at County Road 58 and extends south to County Road 60/future SH 99 for approximately 10 miles.
Cost

Total Cost - $1,063.6 million (YOE)

Funding Sources
  • Private Activity Bonds (PABs) (senior debt) - $298.6 million
  • TIFIA Loan - $357.0 million
  • Private Equity - $375.3 million
  • TxDOT Funds (for the Texas Medical Center Connector) - $17.1 million
  • TIFIA Capitalized Interest - $14.9 million
  • Interest Income - $0.7 million
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-build-finance-operate-maintain Toll Concession (52 years)

Private Partner

Blueridge Transportation Group, LLC (concession company)

  • ACS Infrastructure Development
  • InfraRed Capital Partners
  • Shikun & Binui Concessions
  • Northleaf Capital Partners
  • Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. Group
  • Star America Infrastructure Partners

Almeda-Genoa Constructors (design-build joint venture)

  • Dragados USA
  • Pulice Construction
  • Shikun & Binui America
Project Advisors / Consultants

Lead engineering firm - Stantec

To TxDOT

  • Financial Advisors - KPMG
  • Legal Advisors - Mayer Brown
  • Technical Advisors - Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

To Blueridge Transportation Group, LLC

  • Financial Advisor - Scotiabank
  • Legal Advisors - Hunton & Williams

To USDOT TIFIA JPO

  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Taylor DeJongh
  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
Lenders

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

Commercial close March 7, 2016.

Financial close May 9, 2016.

Construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016 and is projected to be complete by the second quarter of 2019.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $357.0 million

TIFIA will be repaid with toll revenues.
Financial Status / Financial Performance

The TIFIA credit agreement was signed in April 2016.

Innovations
  • The project is wholly financed by the private sector with the exception of TxDOT's contribution to the Texas Medical Sector direct connectors' construction
  • An Alternative Technical Concept proposed by the private partner will reconstruct about 75 percent of SH 288's interchange with I-610.
Related Links / Articles

TxDOT Project Website

Drive 288 Project Website

Blueridge Transportation Group Proposal Executive Summary
Contacts

Benjamin Asher
Director, Project Finance, Debt and Strategic Contracts
Tel: (512) 463-8611
benjamin.asher@txdot.gov

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