Austin, July 22, 2010.- Two North Texas highways under development by Cintra US, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System and Meridiam Infrastructure have been named 2010 Projects of the Year by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the nations oldest and most respected transportation-related construction group.
The awards recognizing the LBJ Express in Dallas and North Tarrant Express in the Fort Worth area were announced today at the associations 22nd Annual Public Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference in Washington, D.C.
Both the LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express are among the most innovative, comprehensive and complex roadways currently planned and in development in the United States.
For not only one but two of our highway projects to be recognized is truly a testament to the talented and dedicated public and private sector teams behind each development, said Nicolas Rubio, president of Cintra US, which is based in Austin, Texas. However, our true success will be measured by the traffic congestion relief we will provide with both roadways, allowing Texans greater options for efficient, reliable and most importantly, safe transportation.
The LBJ Express is a project of the LBJ Infrastructure Group, LLC, and the North Tarrant Express is a project of the NTE Mobility Partners. Both projects will feature re-development and expansion of major traffic corridors that will help reduce travel delays, enhance safety, provide mobility choices and help reduce the carbon footprint often associated with idling traffic.
In June, LBJ Express became the first privately-funded road development project of its kind in the country to attain financial close this year. The North Tarrant Express was the nations only large scale public-private road development project to attain financial close last year. In both cases, financial completion was achieved well ahead of schedule.
Importantly, the projects will create thousands of new jobs for Texans and will allow the state to leverage limited tax dollars some six times to create more than $6 billion in roadway benefits.
What this recognition from ARTBA underscores is that public private-partnerships are an excellent way to leverage scarce tax dollars to produce billions of dollars in new highways for taxpayers, said Joe Aiello, CEO for Meridiam Infrastructure North America. Public-private partnerships make good business sense.
ARTBAs stamp of approval speaks volumes for the quality team we have in place to deliver these projects for North Texas, said Richard Tettamant, Administrator for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, the first U.S. pension fund to invest directly in the construction and maintenance of not only one but two major infrastructure projects.
More on the LBJ Express
The LBJ Express will feature dramatic improvements to Interstate 35E and Interstate 635 in Dallas. This innovative project will feature a multi-level highway system, including several miles of depressed lanes, allowing drivers the choice of bypassing congestion in general purpose lanes for new, high-speed managed lanes.
The approximately 17-mile LBJ Express project encompasses improvements along IH-635 from Luna Road to Greenville Avenue, as well as on IH-35E between Loop 12 and Valwood Parkway, almost doubling the capacity of the current road. The LBJ Express will combine the same number of general purpose highway lanes that exist today with up to 13 miles of six new express managed toll lanes, all within the same footprint of the current LBJ roadway.
The LBJ Infrastructure Group partners collectively employ some 1,500 Texans and will integrate more than 100 additional Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas companies and their employees into the project.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2011 and be completed by 2016.
More on the North Tarrant Express
The 13-mile North Tarrant Express project consists of a series of improvements to critical highways, primarily along Interstate 820 and State Highway 121/183 between Interstate 35 West and Industrial Boulevard just beyond the SH-121/183 split in North Tarrant County, one of Texas fastest growing regions.
The project will improve the efficiency of the highway corridor by offering drivers the option of bypassing congestion in general purpose lanes for new high-speed managed lanes.
The project will also provide reconstruction of interchanges, upgrade existing toll-free facilities to the latest and most current standards, and maintain them at the developers expense. The NTE Mobility Partners firms collectively employ more than 2,000 Texans and will put more than 100 additional Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas companies, and their employees, to work on this project.
Construction is expected to start in early 2011 and be completed by 2015.
The duration of the concession agreements for both projects is 52 years. At the end of the lease terms, the operation and maintenance responsibility for the roadways will be returned to the Texas Department of Transportation. Further, the State of Texas will receive two state-of-the-art roadways.