CTV taps WGI for CA-125/S
By Peter Samuel
Calif Transp Ventures (CTV), the Parsons Brink/Egis led group has chosen Washington Group International (WGI) to build its CA-125/South toll road in the San Diego area. WGI is formed out of the consolidation of Morrison Knudsen and Raytheon Constructors, and is headquartered in Boise Idaho. Its low bid of $266m was accepted by CTV October 2.
CA-125/S is 15km (9.5mi) long, has five interchanges and will help develop a new high standard north-south roadway through the rugged developing country in the eastern part of the San Diego area. It will help tie together major new developments being built around east-west arterials in valleys running to the coast. At the southern end of the tollroad corridor is the Otay Mesa border crossing to Mexico, so the road will also provide an alternate truck route to travelling congested I-5 and I-805.
The design-build contract covers the tollroad proper initially 2x2-lanes but expandable to 2x4 lanes which will be funded by investors plus construction of a short publicly-funded connection from CA-54 and a CA-54/CA-125 interchange. There is already massive highway construction in this area with CA-125 under construction further north with tax money.
Mike Schneider, chairman of the CTV board says they plan to get construction under way by the end of the year and have motorists driving on the highway by 2003. An investment-grade traffic and revenue study is near completion. CTV has not decided whether it will use the for-profit form of ownership as provided in its 35-year franchise, or whether to use a shell not-for-profit it has formed and issue tax-exempt bonds.
Schneider says the WGI bid was below CTVs budgeted number, which bodes well for the financing. The project has taken ten years to get to this stage, major delay being caused by difficulties getting agreement on a right of way in the developed northern section, and satisfying federal regulators on wetlands and endangered species issues. (Contact Robert Garin, CTV/Egis 619 338 8385)