Israeli company wins first major USA contract


A leading Israeli construction and infrastructure company has won its first major project in the USA. Shikun & Binui Ltd is part of the Blueridge Transportation Group consortium, along with ACS and InfraRed Capital Partners, which has won a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project to design, build, finance, operate and maintain toll lanes on SH-288 in Harris County, for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The US$1bn project has construction costs of approximately US$800m, with Shikun & Binui, as a 50% member of the construction joint venture, expected share in build revenues of approximately US$400m. The Blueridge proposal was announced as the best value proposal by TxDOT, which also received bids from two other Spanish-led consortia.

The consortium will now proceed to execute the concession agreement with TxDOT and complete the financing for the project. The consortium will design, build, operate and maintain the toll lanes along 10.3 miles (16.6km) of State Highway 288 near the Houston metropolitan area during the 52-years concession period, and will collect tolls from the toll lanes users. The design and construction works will include: four-lane tolled express lanes in the median of the existing highway; the reconstruction of a major interchange and multiple bridges; and the installation of an electronic toll collection (ETC) system. The duration of the construction phase is expected to be approximately three years.

This is the first major project win since Shikun & Binui established operations in the USA in 2012, as part of the Group’s strategy to expand operations to the Americas. This is another major project win in a series of global infrastructure projects awards to the company in the past year, including the project for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a toll road as part of the ring-road around Bogota, Colombia, totaling US$550m.Tal Raz, CFO of Shikun & Binui, commented, “This win proves that we have the know- how to set a goal and achieve it. About three years ago, we inaugurated the USA headquarters for managing infrastructure projects in North America. We are pleased to report the first mega project won by the US team, where we can bring our extensive experience in all stages of large scale complex PPP projects, starting from securing a timely financial closing, to high quality construction according to the best industry practices, followed by long-term operation and maintenance to the highest standards throughout the term of the project.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).