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Report Casts Doubt Over SH 130 Finances

Updated: Monday, June 23 2014, 04:18 PM CDT

The storybook dream of building a major Central Texas roadway supported solely by users' tolls appears to be running out of gas. Low traffic counts have investors worried the operators of the south end of the SH 130 toll road may miss a loan payment due at the end of this month.

So what's the worst that could happen? A spokesman for the SH 130 Concession Company says if they went bankrupt they would just turn over the completed operating road to the state. But the state would also get something else, too.  

Dave Dobbs from Texas Association for Public Transportation says, "There are things written into the contract which allow the toll road authority in certain eventualities to shift the cost of that road to TxDOT."

Nobody's talking bankruptcy yet. Moody's Investor Services says the operator is trying to refinance its billion dollar debt. And the company prefers to remain optimistic saying in a written statement, "This first class roadway will play an increasingly important role in relieving congestion along the gridlocked I-35 corridor."

But to do that SH 130 must lure more truckers their way despite the round-about route to San Antonio. 

Trucker Douglas Cantrell says it adds 17 miles to his trip adding, "If they had brung it in closer to San Antonio, I believe there would have been more use it."

Moody's did have some good news for the SH 130 operators. It appears the truckers they gained with discounted tolls last year stuck around after the discounts ended.

By Fred Cantu

Report Casts Doubt Over SH 130 Finances


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