CA-125/South gets Loan guarantees
By Peter Samuel
The California state route 125 southern extension toll road will get a US govt loan guarantee for $90m of its debt and a $37m federal line of credit to draw upon if its revenues fall short of projections. This was announced by US Secretary of Transp, Rodney Slater Sept 27. It was the only highway project to get support among five projects selected under the Transp Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, TIFIA. Other projects include Miami Intermodal Center, the Tren Urbano rail transit in San Juan PR, a rail-transit center in Philadelphia PA, and Metrorail in Washington DC.
The TIFIA financing will help lower borrowing costs for CA-125/S for California Transp Ventures (CTV), which has formed San Diego Expressway Limited Partnership, whose investors are Parsons Brinck, Egis and Koch. CTV has faced long delays and obstacles in gaining environmental clearances for the project, but these seem to be nearly over now. CTV officials were always confident the $400m project could be financed. They filed with the IRS a not-for-profit shell company under Sec 6320 of the tax code.
CTV signed a franchise agreement with Caltrans for the project in 1991 and target dates for different stages of the project have repeatedly been missed. But persistence can pay and the project could move first in 2000.
The roadway has long been planned as part of an outer network of highways in developing hilly areas on the eastern fringe of the San Diego metro area (pop 3m). Its success will depend heavily on the state or others building connecting motorways to the north, on the pace of metro area development and on the growth of trade with Mexico.
The highway also known as the San Miguel Parkway is a major new north-south motorway from Spring Valley east of San Diego at CA-54 south 18km (11mi) to the new US-Mexico border crossing of Otay Mesa. (Contact Kent Olsen CTV 619 338 8385, see TRnl#21 Nov 97 p15, TRnl#33 Nov 98 p8, TRnl#38 Apr 99 p13, TRnl#40 Jun 99 p8)