The Texas Department of Transportation and Abrams-Kiewit Joint Venture Reach Agreement on the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation and Abrams-Kiewit Joint Venture (Developer) reached commercial close on the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project (Project).  The contract, which includes design-build and comprehensive maintenance agreements (collectively the CDA), was conditionally awarded to the Developer in April of this year.  Developer is a joint venture consisting of J.D. Abrams and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.

The Project is located west of downtown El Paso, south of Interstate Highway 10 (I-10) and extends approximately nine miles from Racetrack Drive near Doniphan Road and New Mexico 273 east to US 54, one mile east of Park Street. The Project includes the design, construction and comprehensive maintenance of a four-lane, controlled access tolled facility from Racetrack Drive to the terminus of the existing Loop 375, in the vicinity of Santa Fe Street, a distance of approximately 5.6 miles.  The cost of the Project is approximately $525 million, excluding maintenance.

The Project will provide an alternate route for Interstate Highway 10 to address needed improvements to system capacity, reliability and regional system linkage for the El Paso metropolitan area.  Under the terms of the design-build CDA, the Developer will design and construct a four-lane controlled access facility, of which the majority is on elevated structure.  The Project includes about 5.6 miles of tolled lanes, ramps, interchanges and intersection improvements.  The Project also includes demolition of existing Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad mainline and cross-over track, and the design and construction on new alignment of approximately 10,000 feet of Union Pacific Railroad mainline track, approximately 2,000 feet of setout track and approximately one mile of Burlington Northern Santa Fe cross-over track.

The Developer will perform comprehensive maintenance services under the CDA, including routine maintenance, capital maintenance and incident management, for an initial term of five years after completion of construction.  At TxDOT’s option, the Developer’s performance of comprehensive maintenance services may be extended for up to two additional five-year terms after the initial five-year term.

The El Paso area has experienced significant growth over the past several years, resulting in increasing congestion and challenges to safety and mobility.  To address these concerns, the Project will include plans for improving regional travel and connectivity, and enhancing safety on Loop 375.  Improved access to the University of Texas at El Paso, Fort Bliss, downtown and medical centers will provide additional benefits to motorists.

The Project, which is being constructed in collaboration with the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA), is expected to break ground in early 2015 and is scheduled to be completed by fall of 2017.

Linda Cunningham co-authored this post.

NTE Segments 3A & 3B Project Reaches Financial Close

The North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B Project (Project) reached financial close earlier today.  The Project will provide over $1.5 billion of needed infrastructure to the Fort Worth area, as well as operations and maintenance over the next several decades.  The Project will expand Interstate 35W in north Fort Worth, one of the region’s top priorities for congestion relief.  Segments 3A and 3B are the primary focus of the North Tarrant Express Master Development Plan, and will add approximately 10 miles of I-35W to the North Tarrant Express project.

Pursuant to the agreement between TxDOT and NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC (Developer), which reached commercial close last March, Developer will design, build, operate and maintain Segment 3A - the portion of the road from I-30 to Loop 820.  TxDOT will build Segment 3B - the portion of the road from north of Loop 820 to U.S. 287 at an estimated cost of $234 million, prior to turning it over to Developer.  Developer will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility and will collect the tolls generated on the managed toll lanes of the facility until 2061.

Private funding for the project consists of a combination of a $531 million loan under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), $274 million in private activity bonds and approximately $430 million in private equity, totaling in excess of $1.2 billion.  The average interest rate on the private activity bonds (PABs) is 6.87% per annum, while the TIFIA interest rate is 3.84% per annum.  The underwriters for the PABs are JP Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Barclays Capital Inc. and Estrada Hinojosa & Company, Inc.

Work under the agreement includes rebuilding existing lanes and adding two managed toll lanes in each direction of I-35W from north of Interstate 30 near downtown Fort Worth to the U.S. 287 split south of Alliance Airport.  Construction could begin by fall-2013 and be substantially completed by mid-2018.  The agreement for the NTE Segments 3A & 3B Facility is available on TxDOT’s website.

TxDOT Achieves Commercial Close on the $845 Million I-35E Managed Lanes Project

On May 17, 2013, the Texas Department of Transportation and AGL Constructors reached commercial close on the design-build and capital maintenance agreements for the I-35E Managed Lanes Project.  AGL Constructors is a joint venture comprised of Archer Western Contractors, LLC, Granite Construction Company and The LANE Construction Company. AGL Constructors was conditionally awarded the contract in December 2012, and was one of four teams the Texas Department of Transportation shortlisted for the project in early 2012.

The I-35E Managed Lanes Project is the first phase in a multi-phase program to relieve traffic congestion along an existing 28-mile corridor of I-35E in Dallas and Denton Counties. The scope of the $845 million design-build contract includes the design and construction of tolled managed lanes, general purpose lanes, collector-distributor roads and bridges. The scope of the capital maintenance agreement includes the optional long-term maintenance of the project’s managed lanes component.  The capital maintenance agreement consists of up to three optional five year terms.
 

Recognition for USA Infrastructure Continues to Grow on Global Stage

As the 2013 award season heats up for 2012 successes around the world, the juries are increasingly finding the US market hard to ignore. Infrastructure Journal and PPP Bulletin International, the two London-based media organizations that annually recognize top projects and industry organizations worldwide, have each announced their finalists for this year's best transportation transactions and firms. Focusing on public-private partnership projects as opposed to those mega-projects which are the subject of major design-build contracts, these organizations nevertheless both found much to honor during a standout period.

Infrastructure Journal has announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation's Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/MLK Extension Project ("Midtown Tunnel") is one of four finalists for its Global Transport Deal of the Year, the third time in four years IJ has so recognized US projects, starting with the Texas Department of Transportation's North Tarrant Express, named the Global Transport Project of 2009 and finalist for the overall Global Infrastructure Project of that year; and the Florida Department of Transportation's I-595 Project, also a finalist for the 2009 Global Transport Project. For this year's awards, the publication reviewed more than 600 submissions and will announce the winner on April 17, 2013.

PPP Bulletin International has announced that the California Department of Transportation's Presidio Parkway Project, the Midtown Tunnel and VDOT's I-95 Express Lanes project are all among the finalists for its Best Transport Project of the Year. The publication will announce the winner on May 23, 2013.

We congratulate VDOT, Caltrans and their private partners for this well-deserved recognition.

TxDOT Executes Agreement for Grand Parkway Project

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) executed agreements on March 22 for the development of the SH 99 Grand Parkway project with Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders, JV, a joint venture comprised of Zachry Construction Corporation and Odebrecht Construction Inc.  The agreements provide for the design, construction and long-term capital maintenance of the Grand Parkway project, a 38 mile, greenfield toll road in Houston.

Project Details

The high-priority project reaching final award consists of Segments F-1, F-2 and G of the Grand Parkway, part of a proposed 180+ mile highway, encircling the Houston area. The larger Grand Parkway has been shown on governmental planning documents since the early 1960's.  A few of the other segments of the Grand Parkway are being developed using traditional construction contracts. Segments D and E are currently under construction and Segment I-2 and portions of Segment D are already open to traffic. 

Procurement

In September 2012, Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders was determined to be the apparent best value proposer and conditionally awarded the design-build and capital maintenance agreements.  The best value selection criteria included price, technical and schedule scores. Zachry-Odebrecht's proposed design and construction price is $1.07 billion, including $30 million in options.TxDOT's construction cost estimate exclusive of design was $1.160 billion.  In addition, Zachry-Odebrecht proposed the fastest schedule at 842 days, which is 150 days earlier than the outside deadline set by TxDOT.  The award to Zachry-Odebrecht was conditioned upon successful completion of negotiations and finalization of the agreements, as well as compliance with various legislative conditions to execution of the agreements. The necessary approvals, including a determination of legal sufficiency from the Attorney General's office, were received by TxDOT earlier last week.

Financing

It is anticipated that approximately $3 billion in revenue bonds will be issued in connection with the financing for Segments E, F-1, F-2 and G of the Grand Parkway. In addition, TxDOT has applied for a TIFIA loan.  Financial close is anticipated to occur in May.

TxDOT Executes Agreement for North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials executed a Facility Agreement  with NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC (Developer) on March 1 for Segments 3A and 3B of the North Tarrant Express project in northeast Tarrant County.  The agreement provides for the expansion of Interstate 35W in north Fort Worth, one of the region’s top priorities for congestion relief.  Segments 3A and 3B are the primary focus of the North Tarrant Express Master Development Plan, and will add approximately 10 miles of I-35W to the North Tarrant Express project.

Pursuant to the Facility Agreement, the Developer will finance, design and build Segment 3A (the 6.5 mile portion of the road from I-30 to north of I-820) and TxDOT will build Segment 3B (the 3.3 mile section from north of I-820 to North Tarrant Parkway). The Developer will then be responsible for operation and maintenance of both segments, and will collect tolls generated on the managed toll lanes until 2061. Work under the agreement includes rebuilding existing lanes and adding two managed toll lanes in each direction of I-35W from north of Interstate 30 near downtown Fort Worth to the U.S. 287 split south of Alliance Airport.  Construction is expected to begin by mid-year and scheduled to be substantially completed by mid-2018.

The project will provide over $1.5 billion of needed infrastructure to the Fort Worth area, as well as operations and maintenance over the next several decades. The estimated funding sources for the project delivery include $270 million of private activity bonds,  $530 million subordinated Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan and a $440 million equity contribution from the Developer, as well as construction and funding commitments from TxDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments of $330 million.

The executed agreement for the NTE Segments 3A & 3B Facility is available on TxDOT’s website.