(Bloomberg) -- Texas’ plan to terminate a 52-year toll-road concession and restore state control will cost taxpayers at least $1.7 billion.

The state Transportation Commission voted unanimously last week to begin the process of ending the contract held by Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA. At the time, officials didn’t provide an estimated price tag for taking control of toll lanes along a 10-mile stretch of SH-288 between downtown Houston and fast-growing suburbs. 

“If the agreement is terminated, the current cost is $1.7 billion,” per the contract terms, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman wrote in an email on Wednesday.

ACS has six months to attempt to negotiate a new agreement with the state, the company said in a March 27 filing. 

Texas signed the contract in 2015 at a time when the Lone Star State was strapped for highway-construction funds, State Senator Robert Nichols told transport commissioners last week. The toll lanes are in a “high-growth area” and “volumes of revenue are shooting through the roof,” said Nichols.

The longer Texas takes to end the contract and assert control, the higher the price tag, he added.

“Every year you delay the price goes up” by hundreds of millions, said Nichols, a Republican who chairs the senate transportation committee.


(Updates with rationale for takeover in fifth paragraph.)

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