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As one of thousands of Texans who work for international companies, I read with interest the comments made by Tommy Seargeant of Greater Texas FCU who suggested that the Spanish now “own” our toll roads. ["Texas CUs on Hold," CU Times, Aug. 24.] As an employee of Cintra US, the Madrid-based firm-with U.S. headquarters in Austin-that is helping to develop Texas roadways, I can assure you that statement is incorrect. In contracting with the state to develop new highways, Cintra US is the leaser-but never the owner. The State of Texas maintains complete ownership of the roadway and the land on which it sits-at all times. It is also worth noting that our roadway projects will create new jobs for Texans. For instance, in the Dallas area, we are partnering with the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System on a long-anticipated project to expand and enhance the LBJ expressway. This project will put thousands of Texans to work on a roadway that will provide much needed congestion relief to area drivers. Additionally, this project will help to eliminate a carbon footprint often associated with stagnant traffic. Public-private partnerships like this one help shift the financial risk for roadway projects to the private sector. They allow earlier development of infrastructure, providing public service and customer choice in the most efficient way. State and federal laws, agency oversight and contract provisions ensure that the public’s interests are well protected. At Cintra US, we are honored to work alongside the many state and local leaders to help provide safe and reliable transportation solutions to the people of Texas.

Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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