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SAN DIEGO, CA-Progress seems to be moving forward on the SR-125 toll road project, as the Australian firm Macquarie Infrastructure Group is wrapping up a deal to purchase rights to the $650-million project. The acquisition, which is expected to close within the next two weeks, will clear the way for construction to begin in January 2003.

Macquarie is expected to pay more than $54 million for the rights, as the international investor has agreed to acquire 100% of Californian Transportation Ventures Inc. and 82% of San Diego Expressway Limited Partnership, the concessionaire for the SR-125 project. It will be acquiring the majority stake from two engineering firms, US-based Parsons Brinckerhoff and French-headquartered Egis.

The project, which is slated to reach financial close by the end of this year, has qualified for $140 million of federal loan funding. It has also been promised $138 million from the San Diego Association of Governments, which will be used to build untolled links between the tollway and the existing San Diego freeway network.

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