Nossaman LLP

Patricia de la Peña


T 512.651.0655
F 512.651.0670
919 Congress Avenue, Suite 1050
Austin, TX 78701

Patricia de la Peña focuses her practice on developing PPP procurement documents, drafting and negotiating contract documents, and administering contracts.  She offers a special focus on PPP insurance issues.

Prior to joining Nossaman in 2005, Ms. Peña worked in the Texas Department of Insurance, where she worked with department staff to draft rules and proposed legislation.  She also served as a litigator in the insurance practice group of a large Texas law firm.

Ms. Peña is a member of the Public Contract Law section of the American Bar Association.  She is also a member of the Women's Transportation Seminar and the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association.

Ms. Peña regularly speaks to professional and industry organizations, most recently discussing insurance options at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting.  She also publishes on this subject and contributes her insights on emerging developments to the firms Infra Insight blog.

Representative Work

  • Texas Department of Transportation – SH 360.  Lead attorney advising TxDOT on this project.  The $625 million SH 360 project is a tolled extension of SH 360 from Sublett Road in Arlington to US 287 near Mansfield in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.  Currently, this 9.7-mile route consists of highly congested local roads.  The approximately $300 million interim project consists of a four-lane divided tollway north and two divided lanes south of East Broad Street, plus an interchange at US 287.  Ultimately, TxDOT intends to add additional tolled lanes to the route.  The frontage road will remain available for non-tolled transit.  The project agreement between TxDOT and the North Texas Tollway Authority calls for TxDOT to design, build and finance the project before turning it over to the North Texas Tollway Authority for ownership and tolling.  An RFQ for the design, construction and potential maintenance of the project was issued in early 2014 and the final RFP was issued later in the year.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and to be completed in 2018.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Border West Expressway.  Lead attorney advising TxDOT on this project.  The approximately $600 million Border West Expressway project will complete Loop 375, which encircles the City of El Paso.  The project is a proposed 9-mile long facility that runs along the U.S./Mexico border as defined by the Rio Grande River.  It 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.  The project provides a new four-lane controlled access highway of approximately 5.6 miles.  In terms of cost and complexity, it is the single largest transportation project in the history of El Paso.  The contract was conditionally awarded to a joint venture and was executed in August 2014. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2015 and is estimated to take three years to complete.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express.  Key member of the Nossaman team advising on this project.  With the population of Tarrant County steadily increasing, the Texas Department of Transportation created the North Tarrant Express Project to improve traffic by adding new lanes and tolled capacity to a number of local highways.  Nossaman serves as lead outside legal advisor on the procurement of a $5.1 billion PPP to design, build, finance and operate managed lanes and upgrade existing facilities along a 36-mile corridor in Dallas and Tarrant counties.  The project will improve mobility by almost doubling the existing road capacity with a combination of general purpose lanes and continuous frontage roads, along with managed toll lanes that will use dynamic pricing to keep traffic moving at 50 mph.

    The first 13-mile, $2.05 billion segment along I-820 and SH 121/183 was developed through a 52-year toll concession agreement.  The project's precedent-setting features include a letter of credit to secure performance from the design-builder and to protect the lenders as well as federal tolling authorization under the U.S. DOT's Express Lanes Demonstration Program.  This project was named 2010 "Co-Project of the Year" by the ARTBA and 2009 "Global Transport Deal of the Year" by Infrastructure Journal.  The project opened for traffic in October 2014, six months ahead of schedule.  Construction was financed using $573 million TxDOT/public funds; $426 million developer equity; $400 million private activity bonds; and a $650 million federal TIFIA loan.

    Subsequent segments involving additional improvements along I-35W, I-820 and SH 183 in north Fort Worth have been implemented through a separate toll concession with the same developer.  With Ms. Peña as lead attorney, the ten-mile segments 3A and 3B Project along I-35 reached financial close in 2013.  Private funding for the $1.6 billion 3A and 3B project includes $440 million in developer equity, $270 million of private activity bonds and a $531 million subordinated TIFIA loan.  Construction is underway and completion is planned for 2018.  For all of these segments, the firm advises TxDOT on ongoing contract administration issues.

  • Texas Department of Transportation – Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement.  Lead Nossaman attorney advising TxDOT on this project.  Texas is a national leader in the number and sheer length of its toll roads.  To coordinate collections on existing and future tolled facilities, TxDOT sought to create a single-provider Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement.  Procurement began in 2011.  In 2012, TxDOT selected TransCore (the largest single provider to toll maintenance services in the United States) to develop, install, integrate, test and maintain all of its open-road tolling and cash collections systems throughout the state.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – LBJ Express.  Key member of the team advising TxDOT on this project.  The LBJ Expressway (I-635) is one of the largest "greenfield" PPP highway projects in U.S. history.  Nossaman served as outside legal advisor in connection with the procurement and financing of a PPP toll concession to design, build, finance and operate this $2.8 billion, 17-mile express lanes project in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  LBJ Express features a combination of four main lanes and two to three continuous frontage roads in each direction, along with three managed toll lanes in each direction that will use dynamic pricing to keep traffic moving at 50 mph.  The project's precedent-setting features include a letter of credit from the design-builder to secure performance and to protect the lenders, as well as federal tolling authorization under the federal Express Lanes Demonstration Program.  Financing includes $490 million in TxDOT/public funds, $664 million in equity, an $850 million federal TIFIA loan and $615 million in private activity bonds.  Operations and maintenance costs over the life of the concession agreement bring the deal total to nearly $4 billion.  The project reached financial close in 2010.  The first lanes opened in late 2013 and the entire project is scheduled for completion by 2016.

    LBJ Express was named by ARTBA as the 2010 "Co-Project of the Year."  Nossaman continues to assist TxDOT with contract administration on this project.

  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas – Houston METRORail.  Member of the Nossaman team that developed extensions to the Houston METRORail system, which launched in 2004.  Eventually, the system will include 73 miles of light rail service.  The first leg of the system, the popular Red Line, is 7.5 miles long and travels along Main Street through the densely-built city center.  In just one decade, it boasts one of the highest ridership rates in the country.  Metro Solutions Phase 2 is a $1.46 billion project to design, build, equip, operate and maintain three additional rail lines.  In December 2013, the Red Line northern extension added 5.3 miles to the system.  In May 2015, the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast) opened – further expanding the system.  The firm's work is primarily related to the turnkey contract to develop the extensions, producing procurement and contract documents, negotiating the original contracts and negotiating modifications that restructured the original deal.
  • Metro Gold Line Construction Authority – Metro Gold Line.  Key member of the team advising the Authority on this project.  Currently, the Metro Gold Line provides transit services from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena.  The 24-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension will expand this important light-rail system east through the region's "foothill cities."  Phase 2A of the project extends the line to Azusa, adding 11.3 miles of new track along with six new stations and an operations and maintenance facility.  It was completed in September 2015 and is expected to open in spring 2016.  The firm was design-build counsel advising the Authority on structuring the procurement and contracts for Phase 2A, including separate procurements for an $18 million "freeway structure" bridge, the $486 million alignment design-build contract, and the $49 million design-build contract for a parking structure.  The firm oversaw the risk allocation analysis, prepared procurement and contract documents, and assisted in the award process and in contract administration.  The firm is also advising the Authority on Phase 2B of this project.
Patricia  de la Peña
Bio Photo



J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1991

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1988




Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member, Public Contract Law Section

Texas Bar Association

California State Bar Association 

Women's Transportation Seminar

International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association

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