April 06, 2013

TX 130 running at 50 percent of projections - thoughts on why

Well, of course Cintra and Zachry didn't want these numbers released, because it could cause "competitive harm" to their parent joint shell company for this, Texas 130 Concession.

"Competitive harm" in this case means their fear that Moody's or others are going to downgrade their debt rating.

Anyway, here's the basics:
Traffic counts on the new section of Texas 130, released Friday by the Texas Department of Transportation based on newspaper open records requests, show that the tollway southeast of Austin in its first couple of months was seeing fewer than 3,000 vehicles a day. ...

The early numbers are about half of what the company predicted in 2008, according to Moody’s Investor Service, which is investigating whether credit ratings on the company’s $1.1 billion in debt on the road should be downgraded.
Well, the real problem is, where the south end of 130 comes out.

The middle of nowhere, in a sense, if you look at the map.

It's not really a very direct bypass for drivers going between Dallas or Waco and San Antonio. It's no bypass at all if you're coming from the north and wanting to go to San Marcos.

If you want to go to Houston from Georgetown, on the other hand, the south end isn't far enough east.

I don't know who argued the most for the routing of the south end of 130. Probably the state, more than Cintra/Zachry. That said, they bought this pig in a poke.

Anyway, somebody's an idiot.

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