A Cintra led consortium bid has been selected by the Texas Transport Commission as the Best Value Proposal for the construction, maintenance and operation of some 21.4 km (13.3 miles) of improvements within the North Tarrant Express located in the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas, USA.
The contract, pending finalization with TxDOT, also includes rebuilding, operating and maintaining the existing lanes (untolled) on IH820, and SH183 in Tarrant County, which is located north-east of metropolitan Fort Worth. The project is split into two segments, measuring 10.3 km (6.4 miles) and 11.1 km (6.9 miles), which significantly enhance the capacity of this highly congested corridor in the accesses to North Tarrant and Dallas Fort Worth international airport. Existing lanes (central and frontage) will be reconstructed and will not be tolled. New tolled lanes will also be built at this time and will provide additional capacity.
Tolls will be completely electronic and have no barriers. This will allow for ease of traffic movement while enabling access for a larger volume of undisturbed traffic. Tolls will be set dynamically on the basis of demand, and will vary throughout the day with the goal of providing users a safe and reliable level of service. Traffic on the road will be monitored in real time, with the goal of keeping traffic flowing at no less than 50 miles per hour in all segments.
The project represents an estimated 2 billion dollars of investment and the concession period will be 52 years from the date of signature of the concession contract. Construction is expected to begin in late 2010 and be on fast track for completion by 2015. Funding, which is expected to be finalized this year, will include government backed loans from the US Department of Transportation that encourage private sector participation in infrastructure development.
The winning consortium comprises Cintra (75%) and Meridiam Infrastructure (25%). Additionally, negotiations are under way for Dallas Police & Fire Pension System to acquire a stake of approximately 10% from Cintra. The successful proposer will also advise TxDOT on the development of the rest of the corridor, consisting of an additional 37 km. of highways.
The final contract award is conditional upon signature of the Concession Agreement and upon obtaining the pertinent environmental permits and the committed public funds.
Following the final award of this contract and the contract signed recently in Poland, Cintra will manage 25 toll roads in Spain (7), Portugal (3), Greece (2), Ireland (2), Poland (1), Chile (5), Canada (1) and the USA (4). Cintra is also Spain's leading car park operator and manages close to 300,000 parking spaces, most of them in Spain.