The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority within the next three weeks will receive bids from private operators on a concession agreement for the island’s busiest toll road.
The commonwealth is looking to enter a long-term lease agreement with a private operator for Route 22, a 52-mile toll road that runs east-west along the north side of the island including San Juan, in return for an upfront payment. Included in the privatization initiative is Route 5, which is connected to Route 22 and extends for four miles.
Puerto Rico officials postponed the bid deadline from May 18 after interested firms requested more time to review documents and finalize financing plans with banks, according to David Alvarez, executive director of the P3 authority.
“It’s better to provide some additional time and have everyone comfortable, then just continuing forward,” he said in a phone interview last week.
The administration anticipates announcing a winning bidder by the end of June. By law, the concession agreement can last for 50 years.
Municipal bonds helped in the construction of Route 22 and Route 5. Alvarez has yet to release the amount of bonds that would need to be defeased in order for the government to enter into a long-term lease agreement. The Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority oversees several roadways, including Routes 22 and 5, and has $7.2 billion of bonds outstanding.