ACS-led group wins $1.8bn Florida toll road bid

The Spanish construction company will finance, design and build additions to Florida's I-595 corridor in the next five years and then operate and maintain it for an additional 30 years. Florida will control the rates and collect tolls.

A consortium led by Spanish construction company ACS Infrastructure Development has been awarded a $1.8 billion toll road concession in Florida's Broward County.

The project requires ACS to finance, design and build improvements for Florida's Interstate 595 in Broward County in the next five years and then maintain and operate the highway corridor for the next 30 years.

The improvements include the creation of three new express toll lanes for the highway, new entrance and exit ramps and the completion of some unfinished road projects adjacent to it.

Interstate 595: Spanish control until 2044

In return for making the improvements, ACS will be awarded a lump-sum payment of $685 million once construction is finished in 2014. It will then receive availability payments of $64 million a year from the state for the remainder of the life of the concession. 

The State of Florida will control the toll rates and collect the tolls on the corridor.

ACS Infrastructure Development's parent company Grupo ACS (Actividades de Construcción y Servicios) is a Madrid-based industrial conglomerate whose construction subsidiaries include Dragados, a Spanish construction company recently shortlisted for the Port of Oakland outer harbour terminal concession in California. 

ACS is a frequent bidder for US concession projects. Earlier this year, it was shortlisted in the Pennsylvania Turnpike concession process.

It has significant equity stakes in other major European construction companies Abertis of Spain and Hochtief of Germany at 26 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Both Abertis and Hochtief are also frequent bidders for large-scale concessions in the US and elsewhere.