Nossaman LLP

Sandra M. Kanter


T 213.612.7851
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Sandy Kanter practices in the areas of infrastructure development and construction.  She focuses her practice on facilitating the interface between transportation project development and the facilities and interests of third party stakeholders such as utility owners and local government agencies. With three decades of legal experience, Ms. Kanter has represented public project owners on numerous successful, often award-winning projects.  She is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Representative Work

  • California High Speed Rail Authority – Initial Operating Segment.  Member of the team advising on the institutional arrangements, procurement plan and financing options for the 800-mile, multi-billion dollar high-speed train system that will connect the state's major urban centers. Providing expert assistance in strategic planning, drafting of the design-build contract, and cooperative agreements with impacted local government agencies and utilities for the design-build procurement of the Initial Operating Segment, which will run through the Central Valley and cover approximately 120 miles from Fresno to Bakersfield.
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority – Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Program.  Member of the team that served as special design-build counsel for the Berryessa Extension Project, a $2.1 billion, 10-mile extension of the existing Bay Area Rapid Transit system into the Silicon Valley to be funded through the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program. The Authority awarded the design-build contract to a joint venture of Skanska, Shimmick, and Herzog in December 2011.  Also, served on the team advising on  agreements between the Authority and BART regarding joint procurement and utilization of rail cars for the project.    
  • Washington State Department of Transportation – Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Member of the team that served as outside counsel to WSDOT on a waterfront-tunnel project to replace the existing elevated section of SR-99 and the Seawall in downtown Seattle, all part of the overall $4.2 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct project. The proposed tunnel will, at 54 feet, be the largest diameter deep-bore tunnel ever constructed anywhere in the world. It will incorporate a double-decker roadway with incoming and outgoing traffic separated vertically, making it one of the few double-decker tunnels in the world. Duties included advising the Attorney General's office in strategic planning for utility relocation risks, and providing assistance in developing contract provisions and technical specifications addressing utility relocations for this complex project.
  • Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority – Alameda Corridor.  Leader of the team that assisted in relocating over 500 utility facilities for this $2.4 billion 20-mile rail and truck corridor.  Responsibilities included strategic planning, drafting of design-build contract and scope of work provisions, extensive analysis of cost liability issues, negotiating and drafting master cooperative agreements, and advising the Authority with respect to contractor claims. The project opened in 2002, on time and under budget.
  • Florida Department of Transportation – Port of Miami Tunnel.  Member of the team that advised the Department in its procurement of a public-private partnership to design and construct a bridge and tunnel project linking the Port of Miami facilities with MacArthur Causeway and the I-395. The concession agreement was only the second public/private partnership in the U.S. transportation sector to use availability payments as the compensation mechanism. The project was named the 2007 Project of the Year by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, both the 2009 Global Deal of the Year and North American PPP Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine, as well as the 2009 Americas PPP Deal of the Year by Project Finance International.  Responsibilities included drafting utility relocation provisions and technical requirements for the concession agreement. 
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas – (Houston METRO).  Part of the team that advised on contracts for development of four light rail lines, with an estimated cost of $1.46 billion for design, construction, and supply of vehicles.  Work included advising on cooperative agreements with utility owners impacted by the projects. 
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Gold Line Eastside Extension.  Leader of the team that assisted the Authority to develop and negotiate master cooperative agreements with local agencies, utility owners and Caltrans for a 6-mile light rail transit line.  The $898 million project includes a 1.8 mile underground tunnel and 8 stations between Union Station and East L.A. and opened for service in November 2009.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – CDA Program.  Served as member of the team assisting TxDOT in its statewide comprehensive development agreement program.  Work included drafting comprehensive development agreements and utility adjustment technical provisions as well as revising and updating standard master utility adjustment agreement forms, for the North Tarrant Express project in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, the IH 635 Managed Lanes project in Dallas, the DFW Connector design-build project in Tarrant County, and the 41-mile $1.36 billion SH 130, Segments 5 & 6 toll road between San Antonio and Austin, which, in 2011 was awarded the Federal Highway Administration's Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Award in the Incentives category.  Also assisted with utility agreement and design-build contract administration matters on the SH 45 SE turnpike project in Central Texas.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – SH 130 Turnpike (Segments 1-4).  Member of the team that developed procurement and contract documents for the $1.1 billion SH 130 turnpike, awarded to Lone Star Infrastructure in 2002.  Responsibilities included strategic planning with respect to utility relocations, drafting relevant portions of the contract documents, and drafting standard form utility relocation agreements.  In 2007, the Federal Highway Administration awarded the project its Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Award in the Innovation category.
  • Colorado Department of Transportation/Regional Transit District – Transportation Expansion Project (T-REX).  Member of the team that assisted with procurement of a multi-modal design-build contract for improvements to 17 miles of two interstate highways and development of a new light rail transit line in the Denver metropolitan area – including 19 miles of rail and 13 stations. In 2001, CDOT/RTD awarded a $1.2 billion contract to a joint venture of Kiewit Construction Company and Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. This was the largest transportation contract in Colorado history and the first contract in the United States combining major highway and light rail transit elements. The project opened in fall 2006, within budget and ahead of the original schedule, winning dozens of industry awards, including the Federal Highway Administration's 2006 Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards in the Innovation and Subsurface Utility Engineering categories. Duties for this project included advising the client on federal reimbursement laws and new state legislation addressing utility relocations on design-build projects, as well as providing expert assistance in the drafting of the design-build contract, master cooperative agreements and utility relocation technical provisions.  
  • Transit Systems Development LLC and Las Vegas Monorail Company – The Las Vegas Monorail.  Member of team responsible (together with local counsel) for coordinating acquisition of right-of-way for the project from 14 property owners located along the Las Vegas Strip.  Successfully closed all 14 acquisitions simultaneously with the closing of the related bond financing transaction.

Awards & Honors

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Sandra M. Kanter
Bio Photo



J.D., Harvard Law School, 1981, cum laude

B.A., Brandeis University, 1978, magna cum laude



Professional Affiliations

Women's Transportation Seminar

International Right of Way Association

American Bar Association, Public Utility, Communications/Transportation Law Section

California Bar Association, Real Property Law and Public Law Sections

Awards & Honors

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
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