Financial close was reached June 29 for Transurban LLC to assume the rights and obligations to manage, operate, maintain and collect tolls on the Pocahontas Parkway for a period of 99 years.
The agreement also allows the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban to pursue innovative refinancing practices to build the Airport Connector, a vital transportation link in the area.
“With Virginia taking smart advantage of the resources that the private sector brings to the table, we are able to move forward on important transportation projects that would otherwise not be possible,” said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. “I am pleased that the federal credit council supports Virginia and Transurban to find innovative ways to pay for the Airport Connector, which also accelerates the timetable for construction. The Airport Connector will offer easier access to thousands of travelers using the Richmond International Airport — one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports.”
Earlier, the credit council overseeing the federal transportation loan program unanimously gave its support to Virginia and Transurban. This strong support sets the stage for the accelerated financing and building of the Airport Connector.
“This is the kind of public-private partnership that we should always strive to achieve,” Congressman Eric Cantor, R-VA, said. “A partnership like this will spur economic growth by improving our infrastructure and saving the taxpayers’ money.”
“Transurban welcomes this opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth on this project,” said Michael Kulper, Transurban’s vice-president North America. “We are committed to managing the road for the long term so that it delivers ongoing benefits to the people of Virginia, and we will work closely with VDOT to secure the financing that will enable construction of the Airport Connector.”
Transurban is responsible for the following:
• Finance and build the Airport Connector subject to obtaining federal government loans
• Pay off all existing debt, approximately $500 million, of the Pocahontas Parkway Association
• Reimburse VDOT’s costs incurred to operate, maintain and repair the Pocahontas Parkway
• Take responsibility for the cost and management of all operations and maintenance of the toll facility, including upgrading the existing electronic tolling equipment
• Establish limits on toll levels and increases
• Share revenues with the Commonwealth if the facility exceeds expectations.
VDOT will continue to own the road, and will retain significant oversight and approval rights on Transurban’s ongoing management of the parkway. The agreement specifies requirements for hand back of the facility in acceptable condition at the end of the 99-year contract term.
For more information, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org.