Florida Department of Transportation Reaches Commercial and Financial Close on I-4 Ultimate Project

The Florida Department of Transportation reached commercial and financial close on the I-4 Ultimate Project in the urban Orlando area.  The $2.3 billion deal is the third transportation P3 project in Florida developed through an availability payment structure, and is the largest availability payment transaction ever undertaken in the United States.

FDOT entered into an agreement with I-4 Mobility Partners OpCo LLC, a consortium led by Skanska Infrastructure Development Inc. and John Laing Investments Limited.  The Concessionaire will design, construct, finance, maintain and operate the Project for 40 years.

The I-4 Ultimate Project involves reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County.  Along with developing a signature corridor with aesthetics and landscaping to convey the “Florida Experience,” the Project will provide a choice to motorists by adding four variable tolled Express Lanes to I-4 while maintaining the existing free general use lanes.  The design phase of the Project will begin within the next month and FDOT anticipates construction will begin in early 2015.  Through the P3 delivery model, the Concessionaire was able to provide significant technical enhancements, including direct connections from the Express Lanes to SR 408, additional auxiliary lanes and an additional pedestrian bridge along the facility.

FDOT and the Concessionaire worked expeditiously toward financial close with lenders including a consortium of six commercial banks and the Federal Highway Administration through the TIFIA credit assistance program.  This allowed FDOT to benefit from the low interest rate environment which resulted in a $68.7 million (net present value in 2014 dollars) decrease when compared to the I-4 Mobility Partners financial proposal.  I-4 Mobility Partners invested $104 million in the Project and commercial banks and TIFIA are lending $486 million and $949 million, respectively, to the Project.  The TIFIA is the largest loan ever undertaken under the TIFIA program.

Moody's assigned a provisional Baa1 rating to Concessionaire’s senior construction bank loan, short term Tranche A TIFIA loans, and long term Tranche B TIFIA loans.  S&P assigned a preliminary BBB issue rating to the proposed construction loan facility and TIFIA loan.  An S&P Analyst, Dhaval Shah, noted that “[t]he rating reflects our view of the project's contractual structure, which appropriately allocates risk between the project and FDOT, and our assessment of the project's risks in completing construction on time and within budget, and in operating the project over the long-term concession.”

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said: “This is a monumental milestone for one of the most congested corridors of the state, which draws millions of tourists and is an important mid-point in Florida for commerce and commuters.  The project gives us the opportunity to show how a successful Public-Private Partnership works, through construction and beyond, benefitting those who count on great infrastructure, which feeds a robust economy.”

Congressman Daniel Webster said the following regarding the benefit of structuring the I-4 Ultimate project as a P3 transaction: “Transportation is the economic engine that fuels Florida’s economy.  As a public private partnership, the I-4 Ultimate project will save hardworking taxpayers’ dollars while delivering the project nearly two decades sooner than could otherwise be expected. It will provide critical infrastructure that will enable us to continue to expand our business development, cultivate growth, and create jobs.  This is a big win for Central Florida.”

The FDOT press release can be found on the Project website.

Nossaman advised FDOT on the procurement, financing and contracts for the I-4 Ultimate Project.

Tae Yeon Do co-authored this post.

FDOT Announces Apparent Best Value Proposer for I-4 Managed Lanes Project

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced today that it has selected I-4 Mobility Partners as the apparent best value proposer to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the I-4 Ultimate project.  The I-4 Ultimate project contemplates a 40-year availability payment contract at a total design and construction cost of $2,323,000,000.00 in year of expenditure dollars.  This cost is approximately $860 million less than the highest proposal received by FDOT at $3,180,033,233.90 in year of expenditure dollars.  Commercial and financial close is expected to occur later this summer. 

The members of the I-4 Mobility Partners team include the following:

  • Skanska Infrastructure Development Inc. (Equity Member)
  • John Laing Investments Limited (Equity Member)
  • Construction Joint Venture – Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc., Granite Construction Company, and the Lane Construction Corporation (Lead Contractor)
  • Design Joint Venture – HDR Engineering, Inc. and Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (Lead Engineer)
  • Infrastructure Corporation of America (Lead Operations and Maintenance firm)

The project includes the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County.  The I-4 Ultimate project adds four tolled express lanes to I-4 while maintaining the existing free general use lanes, providing a choice to motorists.  The express lanes will be operated with variable tolls which will be adjusted to improve traffic flow throughout the corridor.  FDOT will retain the toll revenue and will control the toll rates. 

The FDOT press release can be found on the project website.

FDOT Receives Financial Proposals from Four Teams for I-4 Ultimate Project

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced yesterday that it received four financial proposals in response to a Request for Proposals issued by FDOT on October 11, 2013 for the I-4 Ultimate Project.  On June 5, 2013, FDOT announced a shortlist of four proposers, all of whom submitted financial proposals yesterday and technical proposals on February 12, 2014 seeking the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project.

The estimated $2 billion project, which will be developed through a public-private partnership concession agreement, includes the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County.   The project adds four tolled express lanes to I-4 while maintaining the existing free general use lanes, providing a choice to motorists. 

FDOT received financial proposals from the following shortlisted teams (listed in the order received):

  1. Ultimate Mobility Partners (InfraRed Capital Partners Limited; Fluor Enterprises, Inc.; Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.);
  2. I-4 Mobility Partners (Skanska Infrastructure Development Inc.; John Laing Investments Limited);
  3. 4wardPartners (VINCI Concessions S.A.S.; Meridiam Infrastructure I-4 Ultimate, LLC; Walsh Investors, LLC); and
  4. I-4 Development Partners LLC (Macquarie Capital Group Limited; OHL Concesiones.A.; FCC Construccion S.A.).
FDOT is reviewing the financial proposals and technical proposals and expects to make final selection of a best value proposer at a public meeting on April 23, 2014.  
 
For further information, please visit the project website at www.moving-4-ward.com.  A more detailed list of each proposer team can be found under “Project Info/Docs” on the project website.

Shortlist Announced for FDOT I-4 Ultimate Project

On June 5, 2013, the Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) announced the shortlist for the proposed I-4 Ultimate Project in Orange and Seminole Counties.

The Project includes the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County. The I-4 project adds four tolled express lanes to I-4 while maintaining the existing free general use lanes.

The shortlisted teams were selected based on qualification statements submitted on April 19, 2013 in response to the request for qualifications (“RFQ”) issued by FDOT on March 8, 2013.

The four shortlisted teams and their respective members are:

4wardPartners

  • VINCI Concessions S.A.S.
  • Meridiam Infrastructure I-4 Ultimate, LLC
  • Walsh Investors, LLC

I-4 Development Partners LLC

  • Macquarie Capital Group Limited
  • OHL Concesiones S.A.
  • FCC Construccion S.A.

I-4 Mobility Partners

  • Skanska Infrastructure Development Inc.
  • John Laing Investments Limited

Ultimate Mobility Partners

  • InfraRed Capital Partners Limited
  • Fluor Enterprises, Inc.
  • Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.

A press release may be found at the I-4 Ultimate Project website.

FDOT Receives SOQs for I-4 Ultimate Project

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced on April 19, 2013 that it accepted Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from seven proposers in response to a Request for Qualifications for the I-4 Ultimate Project.  The list of proposer teams may be found at the I-4 Ultimate Project website.

The project involves the reconstruction of over 21 miles of I-4 in Orange and Seminole Counties, including 19 major interchanges, 56 new bridges and 71 bridge replacements, and the addition of two managed toll lanes in each direction.  The estimated cost of the project is approximately $2.1 billion. 
 
The I-4 is often considered the backbone of surface transportation in Central Florida.  It provides a crucial link between Tampa on the west coast and Daytona Beach on the east coast, as well as serving the Orlando Metro area, one of the world's most popular travel destinations.  The I-4 Ultimate Project seeks to alleviate congestion by adding managed lanes and improving access to and from the interstate. 
 
The project is being procured as a public-private partnership, through an anticipated 40-year design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) concession agreement.   The Concessionaire will receive availability payments throughout the operating period, and FDOT assumes the traffic revenue risk.  This is only the fifth highway P3 in the United States to adopt an availability payment structure.
 
Next month, FDOT is expected to short-list at least three and as many four proposers, who will have the opportunity to submit their proposals in early 2014.   The successful proposer is anticipated to be selected in the spring of 2014. 

Florida Department of Transportation Issues Request for Qualifications for the I-4 Ultimate Project

On March 12, 2013, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a press release regarding their publication of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting statements of qualifications from prospective private entities for development and implementation of a public-private partnership for the $2 billion+ Orlando-area project.  FDOT is seeking a private firm that is experienced in designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining both general use and managed lane roadways.   

The I-4 Ultimate Project will be structured as an availability payment transaction.  The project includes the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County and adds four tolled Express Lanes to I-4 while maintaining the existing free general use lanes.  As currently contemplated by FDOT, the project includes reconstruction of 15 interchanges, 56 new bridges and 68 bridge replacements.   

The release of the RFQ follows the industry forum held on March 4, 2013 which had over 1,200 industry participants in attendance.  Statements of qualifications are due on March 29, 2013. 

Florida Department of Transportation Sets Date for I-4 Industry Forum

The Florida Department of Transportation has scheduled an industry forum for the I-4 Ultimate Project.  The forum will be held on March 4, 2013 to introduce this $2 billion+ Orlando-area project.  The project will add two managed lanes in each direction from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to the east of SR 434 in Seminole County, a distance of 21.1 miles.  As currently contemplated by FDOT, the project includes reconstruction of 15 interchanges, 56 new bridges and 68 bridge replacements and will be procured as a public-private partnership. 

The forum is intended for all those interested in participating in the development, design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the project.  The forum will include a series of presentations on the project scope, procurement timeline, procurement process, traffic and revenue, and financing information for the project.  One-on-one meetings for interested proposer teams are scheduled for March 5th and 6th.  The forum and the one-on-one meetings will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, Florida.  FDOT has established a website for the project at: www.moving-4-ward.com for those seeking more information or to request a one-on-one meeting after the forum.