IRVINE, CA--June 23, 2013: Cofiroute USA, a VINCI Autoroutes subsidiary, signed a $60 million five-year contract with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) for the operation of 10 miles of new Express Lanes on State Route 91 (SR-91), which are located in the south of Los Angeles.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with RCTC and Cofiroute USA on this project.”
The contract, which is scheduled to come into force on completion of construction in 2017, covers SR-91's lane monitoring, maintenance of highway equipment, supervision of the toll system, back-office and customer service management. Cofiroute USA has been participating in the lane's and its free flow toll system since the project started in 1995, operating the existing 10 miles for the OCTA since 2002.
The new free flow toll section is part of a vast highway development program worth nearly $1.3 billion. The Riverside County agency is responsible for the project management. The construction includes the widening of the SR-91 to a seven-lane freeway, building an interchange and an extension of the existing Express Lanes. Awarded by the RCTC to a joint venture comprising Atkinson Contractors and Walsh Construction, construction will start at the end of 2013 and are expected to take three years to complete.
The project will improve the flow of traffic on the SR-91, which is used by almost 300,000 vehicles per day. According to the RCTC, an additional 140,000 vehicles are expected daily by 2035. The improvements will reduce delays, allow faster emergency response, relieve local street congestion and offer better access to public transit and trails.
"With the expansion, some drivers will be able to save as much as 90 minutes a day on their round-trip commute," said Karen Spiegel, mayor pro tem of Corona and chair of the RCTC.
Kirk Avila, general manager of the 91 Express Lanes for OCTA, said the expansion will benefit the entire regional transportation system. "OCTA is very proud of the role that the 91 Express Lanes plays in helping reduce congestion," Avila said. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with RCTC and Cofiroute USA on this project."
Gary Hausdorfer, president and CEO of Cofiroute USA, said that the new contract is the result of Cofiroute USA performance and experience operating the existing 91 Express Lanes in Orange County. The Orange County segment of the toll road runs for 10 miles, from the Costa Mesa Freeway (SR-55) in the west to the Riverside County line in the east. Cofiroute USA has continuously operated express toll lanes (HOT Lanes) longer than any other toll road operator in the United States.
Hausdorfer said Cofiroute USA anticipates hiring 39 new employees in customer service, roadway operations and accounting. Cofiroute USA will also be adding more tow trucks to its on road service fleet. Hausdorfer said the new employees will be integrated into existing operations and facilities in Orange County and Riverside County.
"Because of the new systems and technology we recently installed for the existing 91 Express Lanes operation, Cofiroute USA will be able to accommodate future expansion of this vital corridor," Hausdorfer said. "We are very proud to have the opportunity to work with both RCTC and OCTA to help implement their visionary leadership and public policy in reducing regional congestion."
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Cofiroute USA provides a wide range of services to its public and private sector clients, including total management of all toll operations. The company helped create the world's first fully automated toll facility -- Southern California's 91 Express Lanes. The 91 Express Lanes operation in Orange County, Calif., which is now owned by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and has become an international model for highly efficient, safe, driver-friendly operations. Cofiroute USA was also a key part of the team that converted the first high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to its toll road operations contracts, it provides consulting services to public agencies planning new toll roads or converting high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to managed toll lanes in several regions. Cofiroute USA is backed by the global resources and experience of its parent company, Cofiroute SA, based in Paris, France. Cofiroute is part of the Vinci group of companies, which had annual revenues of $50.4 billion (¬38.6 billion) in 2012, with 192,000 employees in more than 100 countries.