Nossaman LLP

Christine D. Ryan


T 512.651.0656
F 512.651.0670
919 Congress Avenue, Suite 1050
Austin, TX 78701

Christine Ryan, head of Nossaman’s Austin office, guides public agencies through the process of structuring, developing, financing and operating large transportation infrastructure projects – in Texas and around the nation. 

A 20-year veteran of the Firm, Ms. Ryan develops strategies for project development during the procurement process; drafts and negotiates public-private partnership (PPP) agreements, design-build contracts and procurement documents; and advises clients regarding insurance, innovative financing and privatization issues.  Her practice also includes contract administration, claims management and dispute resolution.

Ms. Ryan helped create and modify legislation supporting the use of PPPs for transportation projects in Texas – a state that has the largest program of its kind in U.S. history.  Nossaman is special counsel to the Texas Department of Transportation in implementation of the program, and Ms. Ryan has been involved in each Texas project under this system as lead or key member of the legal team.  

Representative Work

  • Texas Department of Transportation – U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge Replacement.  Leader of the legal team advising on replacement of the nearly 60-year-old Harbor Bridge spanning the Corpus Christi shipping channel with a new structure that will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.  The proposed $800 million DBOM project, in the works for more than a decade to improve safety, includes the new bridge, demolition of the existing structure and reconstruction of portions of U.S. 181, I-37 and the Crosstown Expressway.  For life-cycle cost efficiencies, the contract also requires comprehensive maintenance of the project for 25 years.  TxDOT issued an RFP to shortlisted teams in October 2014 and chose a Flatiron/Dragados consortium as preferred bidder in April 2015.  The parties entered into an agreement in September 2015.  Construction of the replacement bridge is expected to begin in 2017.  Ms. Ryan drafted procurement documents including the agreement. She also advised the transportation agency regarding responses to proposer questions about commercial terms, negotiations with the preferred bidder and post-selection approvals.  Ms. Ryan is currently advising TxDOT in connection with contract administration.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 1 & 2W.  Leader of the legal team that advised on 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 – six 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. Ms. Ryan advised TxDOT regarding procurement issues, drafted procurement documents including the concession agreement and a pre-development agreement for additional project segments, and assisted with negotiations and commercial and financial close.  She is currently advising TxDOT on ongoing contract administration issues.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B.  Key member 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.  Nossaman helped negotiate 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.  Ms. Ryan assisted TxDOT with negotiation of an implementation for the facility, including key terms for the concession agreement, negotiation of a tolling services agreement between TxDOT and the North Texas Tollway Authority, and commercial and financial close.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Grand Parkway, Segments F-1, F-2 and G.  Leader of the legal team that advised on a DBM procurement for a $1.45 billion 37-mile, three-segment portion of a planned 184-mile tolled network to improve mobility around the Houston Metro area.  When complete, the Grand Parkway (SH 99) will be the largest beltway in the U.S.  Improvements include tolled main lanes, frontage roads, crossing streets and utility adjustments.  Nossaman helped guide the agency’s 2013 contract with a Zachry/Odebrecht joint venture that bid $300 million less than the next closest candidate and offered a completion date seven months sooner.  Segments F-1, F-2 and G are expected to open in late 2015.  Ms. Ryan’s duties included formulating the contracting and procurement structure, drafting and negotiating the subsequent documents, and addressing risk allocation.  She continues to assist with contract implementation.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Grand Parkway, Segments H, I-1 and I-2. Leader of the legal team that advised on a $1 billion, 52-mile portion of the Grand Parkway (SH 99). Nossaman is owner’s counsel for the design-build and long-term capital maintenance contracts for Segments H, I-1 and I-2. The contract is under procurement and a conditional award is expected in winter 2015.  Ms. Ryan’s role includes formulating the contracting and procurement structure, advising TxDOT on the incorporation of innovative alternative technical concepts, drafting the contract and procurement documents, addressing risk allocation and negotiating the contract documents.
  • 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. Ryan assisted in connection with procurement and financing issues and continues to advise on ongoing contract administration.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – SH 360.  Key member 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.  Ms. Ryan drafted the agreement between TxDOT and the North Texas Tollway Authority, which calls for TxDOT to design, build and finance the project before turning it over to the Authority for ownership and tolling.  TxDOT awarded the contract to a Lane/Abrams joint venture in May 2015.  Construction is expected to begin in fall 2015 and be completed in 2017. 
  • Texas Department of Transportation – Central Texas Turnpike.  Leader of the legal team advising on the largest portion of a $3.9 billion series of toll highways to alleviate severe congestion in the San Antonio-Austin area.  We worked with TxDOT to devise an innovative strategy for SH 130, a 90-mile tolled alternative roughly parallel to I-35 that now boasts the nation’s highest speed limits.  To help make the roadway a reality, Nossaman advised the transportation agency in negotiation of a 50-year, $1.36 billion PPP with a Cintra-led consortium to design, build and operate segments 5 & 6 of SH 130 – the first toll concession in Texas history.  Financing included $683 million in commercial debt, $197 million in private equity and a $430 million TIFIA loan.  The segment, which opened to traffic in 2012, netted several honors including the Federal Highway Administration’s 2011 “Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Award” in the incentives category and Project Finance magazine’s 2008 “Transportation Deal of the Year.”  The Firm continues to assist with administration of the concession agreement.  The Nossaman team also advised TxDOT on a $1.3 billion design-build contract and a 15-year maintenance agreement for segments 1-4 of SH 130, which opened to traffic between 2006 and 2008.  This portion of the tolled turnpike is maintained and operated by TxDOT.  Ms. Ryan advised the transportation agency with procurement issues, including responses to proposer questions, risk allocation and proposer meetings, and drafted procurement documents including the design-build agreement and a capital maintenance agreement.  She also assisted TxDOT with contract administration issues until completion of the project.
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit – Cotton Belt Corridor.  Leader of the legal team that advised DART in connection with a planned 62-mile commuter rail line through Tarrant, Dallas, Collin and Rockwall counties servicing the northeast suburbs of Dallas to southwestern Fort Worth, with a major terminal at DFW Airport.   Ms. Ryan helped DART draft PPP guidelines for the project, including standards for submission and evaluation of unsolicited proposals, solicitation of competing proposals and contract documents. 
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development – US 90/LA 85 Interchange.  Leader of the legal team advising on procurement of a design-build interchange project in Iberia Parish that is part of the transportation agency’s efforts to make US 90 a limited-access highway and bring more than 75 miles up to interstate standards.  The $24.5 million upgrade includes two new parallel girder bridges, relocation of a communication tower and roadway patching and paving.  The interchange, completed in 2011, was fully financed through 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding.  The Design-Build Institute of America honored DOTD as 2011 “Transportation Owner of the Year” in the highway bridges category for its work on a package of five design-build construction projects including this interchange.  Nossaman is also engaged in procurement of a design-build contract for I-10 Widening Project in Baton Rouge, which widened the highway from four to six lanes of travel, and included work on bridges and overpasses.  This segment was part of the $315 million “Geaux Wider” program to add improvements to I-10 and I-12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.
  • Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies – Orange County Public Toll Roads.  Key member of the legal team advising these agencies on all aspects of planning, developing and operating their toll road system since 1990.  The TCAs were formed by the California Legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public managed lanes network.  The system was primarily financed with proceeds from toll revenue bonds, reducing the need for taxpayer investment in roadway development.     Nossaman advised on all of TCA’s contracts, including more than $2 billion of design-build contracts and operation and maintenance contracts for toll roads, facilities and systems.  Ms. Ryan’s duties included work on contract documents as well as litigation of a contract dispute relating to the toll collection system. 
  • Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority – Mid-Corridor Trench.  Member of the legal team that advised on procurement of a $780 million design-build contract with a Tutor Saliba/Parsons/HNTB joint venture covering the critical 10-mile middle section of the Alameda Corridor rail/grade separation project in Los Angeles.  The entire $2.4 billion, 20-mile project, linking the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with the national freight rail system, opened on time and under budget in 2002.  Improvements included a series of bridges, underpasses and overpasses separating freight trains from street traffic and passenger trains.  The Firm oversaw procurement strategy, contract documents, right-of-way acquisitions, utility agreements and federal funding compliance.  The line, which opened on time and under budget in 2002, captured more than a dozen industry honors including the 2003 Design-Build Institute of America “Project of the Year” award.
  • MGM Grand-Bally’s Monorail LLC – Las Vegas Monorail.  Leader of the legal team that advised a Bombardier/Granite joint venture in the procurement process for the four-mile Las Vegas Monorail, which eases travel between attractions up and down the Vegas Strip.   Nonprofit Las Vegas Monorail Co. acquired the line after it opened. Ms. Ryan managed the $650 million project during the contract negotiations phase, preparing and negotiating the design-build-equip agreement, right-of-way acquisition and other third-party agreements and providing claims management and avoidance assistance once construction began.  She also advised on project finance and legislative and regulatory authorizations.
  • Orange County Transportation Authority – SR-22 HOV.  Member of the legal team that assisted with the procurement process for the $300 million SR-22 High Occupancy Vehicle project, which included HOV and auxiliary lanes and interchange and connector improvements on the Garden Grove Freeway.  The project, awarded to a Granite/Myers/Rados joint venture, opened in fall 2006.  Ms. Ryan’s work included assisting with legislative and regulatory authorizations.
  • New Jersey Transit Corporation – Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.  Member of the legal team that assisted in procurement of the design-build contract for a $1.9 billion, 20.6-mile transit system along Northern New Jersey’s congested Hudson River waterfront.  Awarded in 1995 to an entity affiliated with Raytheon (now part of Washington Group), it is the state’s largest public works project and the first DBOM transit contract in the U.S. 
  • Utah Transit Authority – West-East Line.  Member of the legal team that assisted in reviewing proposed design-build contract procurement documents for compliance with Federal Transit Authority requirements.
  • Utah Department of Transportation – Legacy Parkway.  Member of the legal team that assisted in drafting a design-build agreement and procurement documents for the Legacy Parkway Project – a 19-mile, four-lane divided highway extending from the interchange of the 2100 North and I-215 Salt Lake City to I-15 near Farmington.  The transportation agency awarded the project to a Fluor/Ames/Kramer joint venture in late 2000.
Christine D. Ryan
Bio Photo



J.D., University of Southern California School of Law, 1992, Editor, Interdisciplinary Journal

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





Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association: Environmental Section

Women's Transportation Seminar

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