“The US for us is both a strategy and a half-house; We will increase our activity there “

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The highway project established by a company Housing and Construction In the city of Houston, Texas, USA, it opened to traffic. This is a significant milestone in the largest project currently being carried out by the company.

After four years of construction, the SH288 toll road opened in Houston on Monday, which holds Housing and Construction 21.6% of the rights in the franchisee and operator company and 50% of the rights in the construction contractor. In the next two weeks, travel on the lanes will be free of charge, and on November 30, the road is expected to begin collecting tolls and generate revenue for the operating period, which will last about 48.5 years.

The project included the construction of about 17 km of highway lanes, as well as 54 bridges, interchanges, and access roads, on Highway SH288 which is the main access road to the Houston metropolitan area from the south, and one of the busiest roads in the city. A control room, and a sophisticated technological system that will support the operation of the project throughout the 48 years in which it will be operated by the concessionaire.

The project was carried out under a 52-year concession, including four years of construction, by the State Department of Texas (TXDOT), and is one of the largest P3 projects in recent years in the United States, with a total construction cost of about $ 1.1 billion.

Shikun VeBinui will enjoy income from traffic on the highways for many years. Other partners in the project are the international infrastructure company ACS, the Infrared investment fund, the Northleaf investment fund, the Israeli Clal Insurance Company and the Star America investment fund.

The city of Houston is one of the five most densely populated cities in the United States, and enjoys a particularly high population growth rate. In the last decade, the population in the Houston metropolitan area has grown by more than 20%, reaching about 7 million inhabitants.

“Significant breakthrough for the US market”

Tamir Cohen, CEO of the Housing and Construction Group, said today (Tuesday) “We thank the Texas government and the local Department of Transportation for entrusting us with this important flagship project, and are proud to open the Houston road to traffic. The project, which was complex at the engineering level, was built to the highest standards, to ensure safe travel and the highest level of service to its passengers. The road will upgrade the quality of life of thousands of Houston residents every day, and we will be there to ensure that. “

Tamir Cohen / Photo: Alon Ron

Rave Oak, CEO of the Housing and Construction Franchise Division, added that “the project is a significant breakthrough for us in the US market. Shuv is one of the few companies that can now demonstrate proven experience in the development, financing and successful construction of a national infrastructure project in the P3 model, and we intend to leverage these capabilities to develop additional projects in the field, some of which are already in process. “

“Franchising income for another 48 years”

According to CEO Cohen, “For us to be a company that has managed to complete a large infrastructure project in the US is a big event. In addition, we will be there with franchise revenues for another 48 years that look very good, and with traffic that is far beyond our economic model.

“For us, the United States is both a strategy and a half-house (controlling owner Nati Saidoff lives in the United States, p. 20), so we will increase our activity there a lot. We recently bought an energy facility there and will buy another one soon.

“But such a project, which was also very complex and complicated, both engineering, financial and managerial, its completion and start of operation is a very significant event – both strategically and in terms of the project itself, because it means building a road, meeting all the stringent US standards.” And also to own it. “

Cohen also noted that the length of the toll road in question is only 10 miles (16.1 km), but the work on its construction was complicated, due to the need to build bridges and interchanges while continuing the operation of the old road throughout the work period. Of Texas, which includes hurricanes and large amounts of rain, caused delays in completing the project.

You made some erasures on this road.

“It was a year of delay, due in part to weather delays and in part to our less than good preparation as a contractor for events of this kind. We paid a lot of tuition there, knowing it was a franchise-contracting project, which is a very profitable project.

“Because in our accounting we do not estimate the value of the projects, so the project is not registered according to its franchise value. The fact that we have a 48-year fee with 150-170 thousand cars a day, so the write-offs of the contracts we performed are about $ 50 million. Negligence.

“So, on the contractor side we did not earn what we wanted, but on the concessionaire side it is definitely one of our most successful projects, because it is in America. We are building another toll road in Colombia and have a Route 6 operator in Israel, but it is still not like in America.

“Completing this project also put us on the map in the American infrastructure world, because the road has won all sorts of awards for its design and planning, and now we have receipts there. We also paid the tuition to build a project of this magnitude in the US, and today we are smarter.

“One of the lessons was also that we bought a good American contractor from Pittsburgh, who speaks American rather than English, with local engineers and planners, and we are very pleased with that,” notes Cohen. “This company has also helped us a lot to complete the road in Houston, and it will even come back this year to make a profit, and is already winning significant projects of its own.”

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