MADRID, SPAIN—The Florida Department of Transportation awarded an approximate $1.26 billion contract to ACS Infrastructure Development, the North American division of Grupo ACS, to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain Interstate 595 for the next 35 years. The construction period is estimated to take five years, leaving 30 years of operation, which means that ACS will be operating the highway until 2044.

Construction includes the addition of three reversible lanes in the existing median strip of the highway and the renewal of nine interchanges.

The project already has guaranteed financing, which includes 10 percent capital and 90 percent debt; 50 percent of it will be financed with a loan from the federal government using its funds for the development transport infrastructures—TIFIA Program—maturing in 2044, and the rest by the pool of banks participating in the proposal—Santander, BBVA, SG, Calyon, Royal Bank of Canada, Lloyd’s, RBS and Fortis.

Interstate 595 is a main highway in South Florida, connecting Fort Lauderdale and Miami with the west coast of the state. Current traffic levels of 130,000 vehicles per day will have to be maintained during the construction works.

According to the Florida Department of Transport, the private concession allows expansion, improvement, and modernization of the highway in only five years. Design and construction using the state’s traditional formula would have taken between 15 and 20 years.

Grupo ACS has also won recent infrastructure contracts in Texas and Canada. In Texas, the company will partner for 50 years to design, plan, and develop an infrastructure corridor of approximately 620 miles—I-69—which will connect the Mexican border with the Gulf of Mexico coastline, Houston, and major industrial and logistics centers in Texas with Northern states and Canada. Grupo ACS also was awarded a project to finance, build, and operate for 35 years highway A-30 in Montreal.