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Grupo ACS chosen by the state of North Carolina to develop its first infrastructure concession

ACS will design and execute the project for the construction and operation of an 11 kilometre bridge worth 700 million dollars

This is the fourth concession project won this year by Iridium in the United States and Canada
Madrid, December 18, 2008. The consortium headed by ACS Infrastructure Development, the US affiliate of the concession developer Iridium, and Dragados has been chosen as a partner by the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) to prepare and develop the project for the construction and operation of an 11 kilometre bridge in that state located in eastern USA.
The project, worth 700 million dollars, will consist of the construction of a long bridge going over swamplands and will connect the NC 12 state highway with US interstate 158. Besides building the accesses and turnkey facilities for the bridge, Dragados will be in charge of making improvements along four miles of the NC 12 south of the bridge to facilitate emergency evacuations in the event of hurricanes.
In the summer of 2005 the North Carolina Department of Transportation was authorised to develop projects for the construction of new infrastructures involving private capital. The first of these projects is the Mid-Currituck Bridge.
The first stage of the contract consists of the studies required to implement the concession, and the second stage will include the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the infrastructures. The civil works construction period will last approximately 4 years and the operation period will be 50 years.
With this award in North Carolina, Grupo ACS consolidates its presence in North America and becomes one of the regional leaders in terms of infrastructure concessions following recent awards in Texas, Florida and Canada, all in the last six months.
Greater presence in North America
At the end of October, Iridium and Dragados were awarded the project for the construction and operation until 2044 of the I-595 highway in Florida, one of the major infrastructures in the south of the state, joining Fort Lauderdale and Miami with the west coast of Florida. Earlier, in June, the Grupo ACS concessions affiliate and the US construction company Zachry were chosen by the State of Texas as strategic partners, as a result of which during 50 years they will design, plan and develop a long infrastructure corridor spanning over 1,000 kilometres, the I-69, joining the Mexican border, the Gulf of Mexico coast area, Houston and the industrial and logistical centres in Texas with the north of the country.
Seven days earlier Grupo ACS, again via its affiliate Iridium and together with Acciona, was awarded a project to finance, build and operate during 35 years the A-30 highway in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), a project with an investment of one billion euros that will require a substantial volume of civil works to join the south of Montreal and the US border. The A-30 is the first concession won by Iridium in Canada.
Apart from the concession business, Grupo ACS also has an important presence in the field of civil works in the United States via Dragados, the head of its Construction division, which started in 2005 when it was awarded the first enlargement of the New York Subway, a large engineering project to join the Grand Central Station in Manhattan with Queens under the East River. This project was worth more than 400 million dollars. Subsequently, the Spanish construction company secured new projects in the northeast United States for the improvement of highways, dams and subways, and it recently won a concession for the construction of a dam in Puerto Rico and its first contract for the enlargement of Miami Airport.
For over 10 years Iridium, the concessions affiliate of Grupo ACS, has been the largest private developer of transportation infrastructures in the world in terms of number of projects developed, with investments in excess of 22 billion euros. The infrastructures and public facilities company is involved in the management of 40 companies across the globe covering the entire value range of the concession business.
New opportunities
As announced on December 6, the new US Administration’s commitment to embark on an ambitious plan for the development of new infrastructures represents for the Grupo ACS companies present in the United States a great opportunity to continue growing, both in the field of civil works and in infrastructure concessions, in the largest market for construction in the world.
The president elect, Barack Obama, announced on Saturday, December 6, Investments in infrastructures totalling approximately 700 billion dollars, which will represent the largest ever US investment in this area , exceeding the plan developed by Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s to boost the federal road and motorway system, with an Investment of around 137 billion dollars.