In a closed meeting on July 29, SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, voted to purchase the lease to operate the South Bay Expressway, the portion of SR-125 that is a toll road. According to the SANDAG press release, the purchase price will be “$345 million with various contingencies.” The 35-year lease is held by the State of California.
The toll road was built with public and private funds. In 2010, South Bay Expressway LP declared bankruptcy, emerging from bankruptcy this year as a composite group of creditors called South Bay Expressway LLC. In bankruptcy court, the assessed value of the toll road (according to an April Union-Tribune article) was $287 million.
South Bay Expressway CEO Greg Hulsizer has been here before. Between 1995 and 2003, Hulsizer was head of another ten-mile strip of private toll road that performed poorly and was ultimately sold to Orange County.
SANDAG’s chief of communications, David Hicks, wrote in an August 1 email that the agreement to purchase the toll road is contingent upon “conducting the public process on the agreement and the financing, as well as SANDAG conducting due diligence on the company…”
Hicks also wrote, “There is the potential to reduce the tolls, depending on what form of financing is used.”
A public meeting will be held in the seventh-floor boardroom at SANDAG offices (401 B Street) on August 26.