The SH 130 Concession Co. LLC will work with lenders and address its outstanding debt of about $1.7 billion, which includes principal and interest, according to a news release. The concession company aims to have a financial resolution in the coming months.
“The filing will have no financial impact on the state of Texas,” said Alfonso Orol, CEO of the SH 130 Concession Co., in a news release. “It’s business as usual for our customers, employees, vendors and surrounding communities during these proceedings.”
The portion of SH 130 from Georgetown to SH 45 near Mustang Ridge will not be affected by the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the SH 130 Concession Co., which manages the section between Mustang Ridge and Seguin.[/caption]
The Texas Department of Transportation owns SH 130 but leases the southern section to the SH 130 Concession Co. A March 2007 Facilities Concession Agreement allows the concession company to manage and operate Segments 5 and 6 between Mustang Ridge near Southeast Austin and Seguin near San Antonio. TxDOT still manages Segments 1-4 from Georgetown to SH 45.
During Chapter 11 proceedings, the concession company plans to continue operating the toll road, provide wages and benefits to employees and pay vendors and suppliers.
Since the facility opened in late 2012, traffic counts have steadily increased. The latest transaction counts for Segments 5 and 6 total about 6.9 million for all of 2015, according to the company’s records. In 2014 nearly 6 million transactions were recorded, and 2013 saw about 5.1 million transactions.
“We believe that this trend will continue and that the road will become an increasingly popular alternative to I-35 and a valuable asset for the Central Texas region in the years to come as connectivity improves and the area’s economy and population continues to grow,” Orol said.
Despite the growth, Orol said the traffic counts have not met initial projections because of the recession, which delayed development along the SH 130 corridor and caused lower traffic counts after the roadway first opened.
“The challenges that the project has experienced during its early years have made the current debt payment schedule unsustainable,” he said.
Last fall the concession company announced it would like to become more involved in the discussion of regional transportation, Chief Operating Officer Matt Pierce told Community Impact Newspaper.
“The need … still exists for drivers needing an alternative to the heavily congested I-35 between Austin and San Antonio,” Pierce said.
He said the company would like to improve access to Segments 5 and 6 of SH 130 and would need to work with both the Capital Area and Alamo metropolitan planning organizations to make that happen.