Nossaman LLP

Christine D. Ryan

Partner

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

Christine Ryan, head of Nossaman's Austin office, focuses her practice on advising public entities in the structuring, development, finance and operation of large transportation infrastructure projects – in Texas and around the nation.  She is a member of the Women's Transportation Seminar.

With the Firm for nearly 20 years, Ms. Ryan develops strategies for project development during the procurement process; drafts and negotiates public-private partnership (PPP) agreements, design-build contracts and procurements documents; and advises clients with respect to insurance, innovative financing and privatization issues.

Her practice also includes contract administration, claims management and dispute resolution.

Texas has more toll roads than any other state and the largest PPP transportation program in U.S. history.  Nossaman is special counsel to TxDOT in these efforts and she has been with the program since its inception – taking the lead on many projects.  Ms. Ryan has assisted with creating and modifying the state's enabling legislation and has been involved with each Texas project under this program.

She speaks to industry and professional organizations on the use of PPP projects to finance and deliver high-priority social and transportation infrastructure projects.  Ms. Ryan publishes on these subjects and also contributes her insights on emerging developments to the Firm's 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 $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 will 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 is scheduled for later in the year.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and to be completed in 2018.
  • Texas Department of Transportation  Harbor Bridge Replacement.  Lead attorney advising TxDOT on this project.  The Harbor Bridge linking Corpus Christi with the North Beach area was built in the late 1950s.  Plans for a replacement bridge to improve safety have been in the works for more than ten years.  The proposed $700 million design-build project includes the replacement of the Harbor Bridge and the reconstruction of portions of US 181, I-37 and the Crosstown Expressway.   Public hearings were held in early 2014, and an RFQ for the design-construction and long-term maintenance of the project was issued in March 2014.  Construction of the replacement bridge is scheduled to begin in 2017.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express.  Key member of the Nossaman team advising TxDOT 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 advised TxDOT 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 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 and subcontractors 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.  It is scheduled for completion in 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.  The ten-mile segments 3A and3B project along I-35 reached financial close in 2013.  Private funding for the $1.6 billion 3A and 3B project included $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 advised TxDOT on ongoing contract administration issues.

  • Texas Department of Transportation – Grand Parkway.  Lead attorney of the Nossaman team responsible for the procurement and contract documents.  The Grand Parkway (SH 99) is a proposed 184-mile beltway around the bustling Houston Metro area.  When complete, it will be the largest beltway in the nation.  It has been divided into 11 distinct segments.  Nossaman is owner's counsel for the design-build and long-term capital maintenance contracts for a $1 billion, 37-mile portion of the Grand Parkway that includes segments F1, F2 and G.  The project includes tolled main lanes, frontage roads, crossing streets and utility adjustments.  The contract was awarded in 2013 to a joint venture that bid $300 million less than the next-closest bidder and offered a completion date that was seven months sooner.  These three segments are scheduled to be open to traffic in late 2015.  The Firm's role included formulating the contracting and procurement structure, drafting the contract and procurement documents, addressing risk allocation and negotiating the contract documents.  The Firm continues to assist with implementation of the contract.
  • Texas Department of Transportation – LBJ Express (I-635).  Outside legal advisor to TxDOT on this project.  The LBJ Expressway (I-635) is one of the largest "greenfield" PPP highway projects in U.S. history.  Ms. Ryan assisted TxDOT 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.

  • Texas Department of Transportation – Central Texas Turnpike Project (SH-130).  Lead attorney on the team advising TxDOT on this project.  After passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the increase in truck traffic into and out of Mexico, traffic on I-35 between San Antonio and Austin became even more congested.  The $3.9 billion Central Texas Turnpike Project was created to create three contiguous toll highways serving the Austin Metro region and the Austin-San Antonio corridor.  The largest part of this project was the construction of SH 130 (also called the Pickle Parkway) to provide a tolled alternative roughly paralleling I-35.  Today, this 90-mile roadway is in operation, boasting the nation's highest speed limits.

    Most recently, a Nossaman team advised TxDOT on the negotiation of a $1.36 billion public-private partnership to design, build and operate segments 5 & 6 of SH-130 – the first toll concession agreement in Texas history.  The 50-year agreement included $683 million in commercial debt, $197 million of private equity, a $430 million TIFIA loan, and smaller contingency facilities.  The segment opened to traffic in 2012.  The Firm continues to assist with the administration of the concession agreement.

    This project was named the 2008 Transportation Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine.  In 2011, it was awarded the Federal Highway Administration's Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Award in the incentives category.

    The Nossaman team also advised TxDOT with segments 1-4 of SH 130, which opened to traffic between 2006 and 2008. The project included an innovative $1.3 billion design-build agreement and a 15-year maintenance agreement.  It was awarded an $800 million TIFIA loan in 2002.  This portion of the tolled turnpike is maintained and operated by TxDOT.

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit – Cotton Belt Corridor.  Advised DART on this project.  The Cotton Belt Rail Line is a planned 62-mile commuter rail line in Tarrant, Dallas, Collin and Rockwall Counties that will provide service from the northeast suburbs of Dallas to southwestern Fort Worth, with a major terminal at DFW Airport.  It has been broken up into several segments.  The Dallas segment runs 23.3 miles and would include ten stations.  Ms. Ryan advised DART on the drafting of PPP guidelines for this project, including guidelines for the submission and evaluation of unsolicited proposals, for any solicitation of competing proposals, and for contract documents.  A developer has not yet been selected.
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development – US 90/LA 85 Interchange.  Lead attorney on the Nossaman team working on procurement for this project.  The US 90 interchange at LA 85 in Iberia Parish was a $24.5 million design-build project consisting of two new parallel girder bridges, relocating a communication tower, and patching and paving existing roadways.  The project continues DOTD's efforts to make US 90 a limited-access highway and bring more than 75 miles up to interstate standards.  Construction of the interchange was 100-percent funded by federal stimulus funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Work was completed in 2011.  DBIA honored DOTD as 2011 Transportation Owner of the Year in the category of highway bridges for its work on a package of five design-build construction projects, including this interchange.

    In addition, Nossaman is 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 attorney on the team advising this agency on all aspects of planning, developing and operating its toll road system since 1990.  The TCAs are two authorities (the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency and the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency) formed by the California legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County's public toll road system.  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.  In a recent assignment, the Firm acted as lead contracts counsel for a set of contracts to convert TCA's 51-mile network of toll roads to all-electronic tolling.  This conversion went live in early 2014.
  • Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority – Mid-Corridor Trench.  Member of the legal team assisting ACTA with this project.  The Alameda Corridor is a 20-mile freight rail expressway that links the national rail system near downtown Los Angeles to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  The project included a series of bridges, underpasses and overpasses that separate freight trains from street traffic and passenger trains.  The Nossaman team worked on the critical middle portion of this project, creating an innovative $780 million design-build contract.  The Firm oversaw procurement strategy, contract documents, right-of-way acquisitions, utility agreements and federal funding compliance.  The line opened in 2002, on time and under budget.  It won more than a dozen industry awards.
  • MGM Grand-Bally's Monorail LLC – Las Vegas Monorail.  Lead attorney advising the joint venture on this project.  The four-mile Las Vegas Monorail facilitates travel up and down the Las Vegas strip.  Once built, it is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Monorail Co.  Ms. Ryan managed this $650 million light-rail project during the contract negotiations phase.  She prepared and negotiated the design-build-equip contract, right-of-way acquisition and other third-party agreements, and provided claims management and avoidance assistance once construction began.  She assisted with project finance and with legislative and regulatory authorizations.
  • Orange County Transportation Authority – SR-22 HOV.  Member of the team that assisted with the procurement process for the $300 million SR-22 High Occupancy Vehicle project, including assisting with legislative and regulatory authorizations.
  • New Jersey Transit Corporation – Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.  Member of the team that assisted in the procurement of the design-build contract for the Hudson-Bergen light rail transit system.
  • Utah Transit Authority  West-East Line.  Member of the 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 team that assisted in drafting the contract 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 contract was awarded to a Fluor-Ames-Kramer joint venture in late 2000.
Bio Photo
Bio Photo

Practices

Education

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

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

Admissions

California

Hawaii

Texas

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Environmental Section

Women's Transportation Seminar

     
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