I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvements, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvements project in Broward County, Florida will reconstruct and improve a 10.5-mile segment of the freeway corridor between the I-75/Sawgrass Expressway interchange and the I-95/I-595 interchange. Key project elements include:
- Reconstruction, widening and resurfacing of the I-595 mainline and the SR 84 frontage road
- Geometric improvements including the modification and construction of auxiliary lanes and braided ramps
- Construction of three reversible express lanes (known as 595Express) in the median serving express traffic to/from I-75/Sawgrass Expressway from/to east of SR-7, with direct connections to the Florida’s Turnpike
- Improvements to the I-595/Florida’s Turnpike interchange
- Deployment of various Intelligent Transportation Systems elements for the express lanes and the general purpose lanes
- Preservation of an envelope within the right-of-way that would accommodate construction of a future transit system
The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership (P3) between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and I-595 Express LLC—a partnership of ACS Infrastructure Development and TIAA-CREF—under a 35-year concession, during which the concessionaire will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the roadway. While the improved facility includes tolled lanes, FDOT will set the toll rates and will collect and retain all toll revenues. FDOT will compensate the concessionaire by making final acceptance and ongoing availability payments based on quality and performance requirements stipulated in the contract.
Running east-west, I-595 opened to traffic in 1989 to serve growing traffic demand between the developing areas in western Broward County and the established commercial areas along the coast, including Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The freeway also provides connections between key north-south arterial routes, including I-75, Florida's Turnpike, SR 7, I-95, and US 1.
Travel demand within the corridor grew quickly following the road’s completion due to several factors, including regional population shifts following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. By 1994, FDOT studies had already identified the potential expansion of the corridor to address capacity shortfalls. An I-95/I-595 Master Plan Study completed in 2003 identified a locally preferred alternative that included the addition of reversible express lanes in the median of I-595 and related access and interchange improvements. This fed into an environmental and engineering study (PD&E, in FDOT parlance), concluded in March 2006, that identified 16 separate design projects for implementation.
FDOT had intended to procure the project using traditional design-bid-build delivery, aligning the phasing of the improvements with anticipated funding availability. However, following 2004 modifications to state legislation that allowed FDOT to procure projects on a P3 basis and an industry forum held in July 2007, FDOT received feedback from private sector developers encouraging it to deliver the 16 separate improvement projects in a single procurement that could be built more quickly and efficiently.
Following the precedent set by the Port of Miami Tunnel, FDOT issued a Request for Qualifications in October 2007 for a private partner to implement and maintain the I-595 project as an availability payment concession, which was followed by a final Request for Proposals in April 2008. One month after receiving proposals for the I-595 project, FDOT selected ACS Infrastructure Development as the best value concessionaire in October 2008. ACS reached financial close for the project in March 2009, including a $603 million TIFIA loan, and construction began in July of that year. I-595 was the first availability payment-based P3 project to close in the U.S.
During the course of construction, ACS sold a 50 percent stake in I-595 Express LLC to the financial services organization TIAA-CREF in October 2011. The reconstructed facility was fully opened to traffic in March 2014, with tolling operations on the 595Express lanes commencing in April 2014. Tolls are charged to all users on the express lanes, including motorcycles and carpools.
Project Financing and Delivery
I-595 Express LLC’s sources of financing to construct the project include $781 million in 10-year debt from a club of 12 commercial banks; a subordinated $603 million TIFIA loan; $208 million in equity from the developer; and $10 million in other revenues. Project debt will be repaid from final acceptance and availability payments made by FDOT.
FDOT will make final acceptance payments to the concessionaire totaling $686 million from 2014 to 2018 following the completion of construction on the project, including $50 million in bonus payments for meeting interim milestones during construction. Annual availability payments from FDOT are projected to total $3.65 billion over the life of the concession through 2044, including a $2.68 billion portion for capital expenditures; a $754 million portion for operating expenses; and $206 million for future resurfacing projects during the concession term. In addition to these payments to the concessionaire, FDOT expects to incur $292 million in other costs between 2006 and the end of the concession for preliminary engineering, right-of-way, construction inspection, turnpike ramps, provision for bus rapid transit, and toll collections and operations.
FDOT’s funding sources for the project over the life of the concession include $925 million in Federal funds toward the final acceptance payments, future resurfacing costs in the availability payments, and other direct FDOT costs. Funds from Florida’s Turnpike will cover an additional $161 million of the final acceptance and availability payments. The remaining funds for the project will be provided by FDOT from revenues deposited in the State Transportation Trust Fund, including funds dedicated to Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System, toll revenues generated on the 595Express lanes, and other revenue sources. Project funding, including payments to the concessionaire, is not directly tied to the toll revenues collected on the express lanes.