Nossaman LLP

Patricia de la Peña


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

For more than a decade, Patricia de la Peña has played a key role in delivering many of the largest transportation projects in Texas and the U.S through innovative methods.  She assists clients with developing successful procurement strategies and documents, drafting and negotiating public-private partnership (PPP) agreements and design-build contracts and contract administration issues.

Ms. de la Peña offers clients unique expertise in PPP insurance matters.  Before joining Nossaman, she worked in the Texas Department of Insurance, where she assisted in drafting rules and proposed legislation.  She also served as a litigator in the insurance practice group of a large Texas law firm.  This experience helps her identify potential risks and develop strategies to address them.

Representative Work

  • Texas Department of Transportation – SH 249.  Leader of the legal team advising on the procurement of a proposed $400 million design-build project to enhance connections between metropolitan areas of Houston, Bryan/College Station and Waco while improving safety in communities along the route.  The first segment of the State Highway 249 Extension Project, which will include approximately 24 miles of new managed lanes, includes up to four new toll lanes – two in each direction – from FM 1774 in Pinehurst in Montgomery County to FM 1774 in Todd Mission in Grimes County.  The second segment will consist of two new toll lanes – one in each direction – with periodic passing lanes (Super 2 configuration) from FM 1774 in Todd Mission to SH 105 near Navasota in Grimes County.  TxDOT issued an RFQ in May 2015 and shortlisted five teams in August 2015.  Ms. de la Peña’s duties involve drafting procurement and contract documents, including the RFQ, RFP and design-build and comprehensive maintenance agreements.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – SH 360.  Leader of the legal team advising on a $625 million, 9.7-mile tolled extension of SH 360 in Arlington to U.S. 287 near Mansfield in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, relieving stress on highly congested local roads. The $300 million initial phase of the project includes a four-lane divided tollway north and two divided lanes south of East Broad Street, as well as an interchange at U.S. 287.  TxDOT will eventually add more tolled lanes to the route.  An 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 Authority for ownership and tolling.  TxDOT awarded a contract to a Lane/Abrams joint venture in May 2015.  Construction began in fall 2015 and the project is expected to be completed in 2017.  Ms. de la Peña assisted TxDOT in drafting procurement documents, including the design-build and comprehensive maintenance agreements.  She also advised during the procurement and award process, including assisting in one-on-one meetings with proposers, responding to proposer questions regarding commercial terms, assisting with the evaluation process, negotiations with the selected proposer and obtaining post-selection approvals.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Border West Expressway.  Leader of the legal team advising on an approximately $640 million DBM project to complete Loop 375 encircling the City of El Paso.  The proposed 9-mile roadway straddling the Rio Grande River along the U.S./Mexico border aims to provide an alternate route for I-10, addressing needed improvements in highway capacity, reliability and regional system linkage for the El Paso metropolitan area.  The project, the largest transportation undertaking in the city’s history by cost and complexity, includes a new 5.6-mile, four-lane controlled access highway.  The Department awarded a contract to an Abrams/Kiewit joint venture in August 2014.  The project is expected to be completed in October 2017.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 1 & 2W.  Key member of the legal team that advised on the first phase of a project to dramatically improve mobility in the growing Dallas/Fort Worth region.  Segments 1 & 2W comprise a 13-mile, $2.05 billion piece of the larger $5.1 billion North Tarrant Express PPP – a project that will fix existing highway infrastructure and double existing road capacity with a combination of general purpose lanes, continuous frontage roads and managed toll lanes along a 36-mile corridor in Dallas and Tarrant counties.  The toll lanes are using dynamic pricing to keep traffic moving at 50 mph.  Nossaman helped negotiate a 52-year DBFOM concession agreement with a Cintra/Meridiam consortium to complete Segments 1 & 2W.  Financing includes $573 million in public funds, $426 million in developer equity, a $650 million TIFIA loan and $400 million in PABs.  The segments, along I-820 and SH 121/183, opened in October 2014 – several months ahead of schedule.  ARTBA named the upgrade 2010 “PPP Co-Project of the Year,” and Infrastructure Journal honored it as “Global Transport Deal of the Year” in 2009.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B.  Leader of the legal team advising on the second phase of an innovative highway improvement and managed lanes PPP to alleviate heavy congestion in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Ms. de la Peña assisted TxDOT in negotiating a 2013 concession agreement with a Cintra/Meridiam joint venture for the $1.5 billion Segments 3A & 3B portion, which rebuilds general purpose lanes and adds two tolled options for 10 miles along I-35W from I-30 to U.S. 81/287 – doubling the capacity of the existing roadway.  Financing includes $430 million in developer equity, a $531 million TIFIA loan, $274 million in PABs and $127 million in public funds from TxDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.  Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement.  Leader of the legal team advising TxDOT in managing a Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement with Transcore – the largest provider of toll maintenance services in the U.S.  The Agreement requires TransCore to develop, install, integrate, test and maintain the Department’s current and future toll systems.  Ms. de la Peña assists with drafting and negotiating Project Segment Supplements, which are used to add project segments to the Agreement. 
  • Texas Department of Transportation – LBJ Express.  Key member of the legal team that advised on a critical project to ease pressure on a congested 17-mile corridor along the IH-635 and IH-35E in the Dallas Metropolitan area.  Nossaman guided procurement of a DBFOM toll concession agreement with a Cintra/Meridiam joint venture for the $2.7 billion upgrade, one of the largest PPP undertakings in U.S. history.  The project includes four main lanes and two to three continuous frontage road lanes in each direction, along with two to three managed lanes in each direction that will use congestion pricing to keep traffic moving at 50 mph.  LBJ Express, the first transportation upgrade to receive federal tolling authorization under the Express Lanes Demonstration Program, reached financial close ahead of schedule in 2010 and was completed in 2015.  Financing included $490 million in public funds, $672 million in developer equity, an $850 million TIFIA loan, and $606 million in PABs.  ARTBA named LBJ Express “PPP Co-Project of the Year” in 2010.  Ms. de la Peña assisted with procurement and financing issues.
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas – Houston METRORail.  Member of the legal team that advised the transit agency on a project to extend the Houston METRORail system.  The first leg of the system, the 7.5-mile long Red Line, boasts one of the highest ridership rates in the country since opening a decade ago.   Metro Solutions Phase 2 is a $1.46 billion project to design, build, equip, operate and maintain three additional rail lines.  The Authority awarded a development agreement to Parsons Transportation Group Inc. and a design-build contract to a Parsons/Granite/ Kiewit joint venture with vehicles procured separately from CAF USA Inc.  The Red Line northern extension opened in December 2013, while the Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) began service in 2015.  Ms. de la Peña’s work included advising on the turnkey contract to develop the extensions, producing procurement and contract documents, negotiating the original contracts and negotiating subsequent modifications.
  • Metro Gold Line Construction Authority – Metro Gold Line.  Key member of the legal team advising the agency on projects to develop the Metro Gold Line since 2000.  The busy light rail system currently serves riders from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena.  The 24-mile Foothill Extension will continue this important line eastward through the region’s “foothill cities.”  Phase 2A of the project, which was completed in September 2015 and is scheduled to open in spring 2016, extended the line to Azusa and added 11.3 miles of new track along with six new stations and an operations and maintenance facility.  Ms. de la Peña helped advise the Authority on design-build procurement and contracts for Phase 2A including an agreement with Skanska USA to develop an $18 million “freeway structure” bridge; a $486 million alignment contract with a Kiewit/Parsons joint venture; and a $49 million agreement with Webcor Builders for a parking structure.  She assisted with risk allocation analysis, prepared procurement and contract documents and assisted in the award process and contract administration.  
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: Public Contract Law Section

Texas Bar Association

California State Bar Association 

Women's Transportation Seminar

Hispanic National Bar Association

International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association

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