At its October 27 meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission approved the issuance of a request for qualifications for the Horseshoe Project in Dallas County.  The project will be the first under new design-build legislation passed by the Texas legislature during the 2011 session.  Subchapter F, Chapter 223, of the Transportation Code prescribes the process by which the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) may enter into a design-build contract with a private entity that provides for the design, construction, expansion, extension, related capital maintenance, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of a highway project. Transportation Code §223.242 authorizes TxDOT to enter into, in each fiscal year, up to three design-build contracts for highway projects with estimated construction costs of $50 million or more.

The Horseshoe Project is part of the larger Project Pegasus, a $2.1 billion (construction only) project in downtown Dallas on two major interstates, I-35E and I-30.   All four legs of Project Pegasus are on the list of 2011 Top 100 Most Congested Roadways in the State of Texas.  The Horseshoe Project will replace two key bridges and connecting roadways crossing the Trinity River at I-30 and I-35E, as well as upgrading outdated roadway geometry.  The estimated construction cost of the Horseshoe Project is $800 million. 

The Horseshoe Project is one of several major new design-build projects in the United States, including the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project in Long Beach, Calif., VTA’s BART Berryessa extension project in the Silicon Valley, and New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, which is one of 14 projects chosen by the Obama administration for expedited federal review and approval.