Fla. Road Project Introduces ’Innovative Financing’ to U.S.

Mon March 10, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Florida Department of Transportation has accepted an unsolicited bid from Community Asphalt Corp. to rebuild a dangerous section of U.S. 1.

It is the first unsolicited project in the country to use an “innovative financing” structure, in which the contractor obtains financing to complete the project from an outside entity, avoiding the traditional pay-as-you-go process for these types of construction projects.

“The innovative financing structure is in the form of an up-front loan from Spanish Bank Caja Madrid, a bank with presence in Miami since 2002,” said Ignacio Halley, executive vice president.

“An unsolicited proposal is one in which the interested party can offer to construct projects that are within the budget of the local department of transportation, in this case, FDOT, in a five-year period from the date of the proposal, offering construction and financing up-front, allowing for jobs to be completed more quickly and efficiently. So FDOT gets a good price and we can demonstrate our strong experience in design-build-finance projects.”

The project is to be completed in three years, which would be four years earlier than FDOT had scheduled. No other company made a competing offer before the March 2007 deadline.

“FDOT benefits by advancing this project when it would otherwise have had to wait, in an area in which between 2001 and 2005, 32 accidents took place, 15 of which occurred in the last two years due to an increase in traffic. This is also a highly sensitive segment in which the contractor must ensure complete protection of the areas ecological nature,” said Lauro Bravar, president of OHL, which owns Community Asphalt.

Plan include improvement, widening and reconstruction of the road between Station 188+00 and S.W. 344th Street. The proposal offered $109,349,512 of funding, with a possible additional amount of $37,983,750. Although construction will last only three years, the company will be paid more than $110.8 million over four years.

“Community Asphalt Corp. is currently working on an adjacent segment of U.S. 1 and therefore can apply that experience to this new project,” Bravar said.