BRADENTON, Fla. -The Florida Department of Transportation on Wednesday received six responses from firms interested in the state's first-ever lease of an existing toll road, which is known as Alligator Alley.
That's two fewer responses than FDOT received when it first started its search in May for qualified public-private partners interested in the concession to operate and maintain the 78-mile toll road, which crosses South Florida from Collier County on the west coast to Broward County on the east coast.
FDOT received statements of qualifications from eight consortiums initially, but based on the responses the agency determined it needed more detailed information and decided to restart the search in late June after revising its request for qualifications.
Despite fewer interested consortiums filing statements of qualifications on Wednesday, the agency is moving forward with its search for a concessionaire, FDOT spokesman Dick Kane said yesterday.
"One [responder] called us and said they were expecting to submit something, and missed the deadline," said Kane, who did not identify the consortium that missed the deadline. "We're now focused on the task ahead, reviewing the [qualifications], and completing the short list process."
The six consortiums that filed responses are:
Alligator Alley Development Partners, consisting of OHL Concesiones and Carlyle Infrastructure Partners LP; Atlantia S.p.A., consisting of Atlantia S.p.A. and Autostrade per L'Italia S.p.A.; Vinci Concessions, consisting of Vinci Concessions, Cofiroute USA, and Hubbard Construction Co.; A2 Transportation Partners, consisting of Brisa Auto-Estradas de Portugal SA, Companhia de Concessoes Rodoviarias, and JPMorgan IF Acquisitions LLC; Everglades Parkway Partners consisting of Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte SA and GS Global Infrastructure Partners I LP; and GVI-Lehman Alligator Alley Access Partners, consisting of Global Via Infraestructuras SA, LBI Group Inc., and GVI-Alltech O&M Joint Venture.
Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. submitted proposals the first time, but did not submit proposals the second time.
FDOT expects to release a short list of consortiums on Aug. 25 that will be asked to respond to a request for proposals.
The proposed leasing of the toll road has received a backlash of opposition from drivers and local governments. Many are concerned about future toll increases and others are upset about giving control of Alligator Alley to a private firm or consortium.
Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday passed a resolution opposing the privatization. Broward and Collier counties, as well as Naples, had already opposed the leasing effort.
But the state has a backlog of unfunded transportation projects, many in South Florida. By state law, revenues from the 50- or 75-year leasing of Alligator Alley must be spent in Collier and Broward counties. The use of public-private partnerships is supported by Gov. Charlie Crist.
Studies by the state and investment banks suggest that leasing Alligator Alley could bring between $350 million to over $1 billion.