Nossaman LLP

Simon J. Santiago


T 202.887.1472
F 202.466.3215
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006

Leader of East Coast operations for Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, Simon J. Santiago handles development, procurement and construction issues for the largest transportation, transit and multi-modal projects in the U.S.  Public sector clients seek his guidance in creating successful infrastructure projects through innovative procurement, financing and delivery methods including public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Given his broad experience, he often advises industry leaders and policymakers on emerging federal legislative and policy issues involving transportation.  At the state level, Mr. Santiago helped develop PPP-enabling legislation, procedures and programs in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.  He also counseled the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on state and federal law governing all-electronic toll systems.

Before joining Nossaman in 2006, Mr. Santiago was a litigator with a construction and government contract law firm in Northern Virginia, where he advised public- and private-sector clients on disputes involving large and complex infrastructure projects.  He also served as a judicial clerk with the General Services Board of Contract Appeals, assisting in legal analysis of contract claims and disputes.  This collective experience has helped him anticipate potential risks and adjust procurement and contracting strategies accordingly.

Representative Work

  • Maryland Transit Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation – Purple Line Light Rail.  Co-leader of the legal team advising on a proposed $2.2 billion light rail system that will run 16.2 miles in the Washington, D.C. suburbs between Bethesda and New Carrollton with 21 new stations along the route.  The system, Maryland’s first PPP project under 2013 legislation Nossaman helped develop, would provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange lines and connect to the MARC train, Amtrak and local bus services.  In July 2014, MTA issued the final RFP for a 30-year availability payment concession to shortlisted teams on the DBFOM project.  Proposals are due in late 2015.  Mr. Santiago has helped to develop procurement and contract documents for the project, including participation in the pre-RFP industry review process.
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation – I-77 Express Lanes.  Co-leader of the legal team advising on North Carolina’s first highway PPP – a $600 million upgrade of a critical business artery in one of the fastest growing states in the U.S.  Under the toll concession agreement, a Cintra-led consortium will design, build, toll, operate and maintain 26 miles of high-occupancy managed lanes alongside existing general purpose lanes of the I-77 corridor heading north out of Charlotte.  The project, the state’s first toll concession, reached commercial close in June 2014 and financial close in May 2015.  Completion is anticipated in March 2017.  Financing includes $100 million in PABs, a $189 million TIFIA loan, $248 million in private equity and $95 million from the transportation agency.  The improvements represent the first hybrid toll concession model to structure a credit support vehicle for lenders in conjunction with a traditional toll revenue risk concession.  Mr. Santiago assisted with structuring, development, procurement and administration of the PPP and advised the transportation agency on legislative and regulatory changes needed to create a PPP program.
  • City of Virginia Beach – Virginia Beach Light Rail Extension.  Leader of the legal team advising on a project to extend Virginia’s first light rail system – a 7.4-mile line in Norfolk called “The Tide.” The project will lengthen the system from Norfolk to the City of Virginia Beach.  Mr. Santiago is assisting the City in developing funding, environmental and procurement strategies for the light rail extension.
  • Virginia Department of Transportation – Coalfields Expressway.  Leader of the legal team advising on a four-lane highway project that will stretch from Beckley, West Virginia to Pound, Virginia, connecting I-77/I-64 to U.S. Route 23.  To deliver the project, which sits in mountainous terrain with limited access, the transportation department is taking an innovative approach – utilizing coal mining operations and equipment to provide a rough-grade roadbed, resulting in a substantial reduction in anticipated costs compared with traditional methods.  After completion of the rough-grade roadbed, the road will be paved to complete the project.  Mr. Santiago is assisting the department in drafting and negotiating the preliminary engineering and design-build agreements.
  • Virginia Department of Transportation – Midtown Tunnel Project.  Leader of the legal team advising on a 58-year DBFOM toll concession PPP procurement for a major tunnel and highway upgrade to improve traffic in the Norfolk-Portsmouth region.  The project includes a new two-lane tunnel parallel to the existing Midtown Tunnel, improvements to the Midtown and Downtown tunnels and an extension of the MLK Freeway, with tolling for new and existing portions.  A Skanska/Macquarie led-team is developing the project via a $422 million TIFIA loan, $663.75 million in PABs, $310 million from VDOT and up to $272 million in private equity.  The project achieved financial close in April 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2017.  In 2012, Project Finance magazine honored it as “North American Toll Road Deal of the Year” and Infrastructure Journal awarded it “Global Transport Deal of the Year.”
  • Florida Department of Transportation – I-595 Corridor Improvements.  Key member of the legal team that advised on procurement of this $1.8 billion PPP aimed at alleviating congestion on the main east-west traffic corridor in Fort Lauderdale.  Redevelopment involved resurfacing 10.5 miles of mainline, building additional lanes and adding three reversible lanes in the median to maximize traffic flow.  The 35-year DBFOM concession, awarded to a team led by ACS Infrastructure Development, reached financial close in March 2009, making it the first in the U.S. transportation sector to use an availability payment compensation scheme.  Project financing included a $781 million bank loan, $603 million from TIFIA, and $208 million in private equity.  Mr. Santiago assisted with procurement and contract documents and the financing structure.  Construction finished on scheduled in spring 2014.  In 2009, ARTBA named the I-595 upgrade "Project of the Year," and Project Finance magazine honored it as "North American Transport Deal of the Year."
  • Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation – Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 1.  Co-leader of the legal team that advised on procurement of a $2.9 billion project to extend the Metrorail from East Falls Church through Tyson’s Corner to Wiehle Ave. in Fairfax County.  Initially procured through a pre-development agreement, the project included 11.7 miles of track and five new stations.  The segment is the first phase of the eventual 23-mile Silver Line.  The Department and the selected contractor, a Bechtel-led consortium, entered into a $1.6 billion design-build contract in 2007.  Phase 1 opened in July 2014.  Mr. Santiago assisted the Department in negotiating the design-build agreement for the project.
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority – Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 2.  Key member of the legal team advising on procurement of a $2.7 billion Metrorail extension in Fairfax and Loudon counties, including Washington Dulles International Airport.  The 11.4-mile, six-station project is the second phase of the eventual 23-mile Silver Line.  In 2013, the Authority awarded the design-build contract to a Clark/Kiewit joint venture.  Heavy construction began in 2014 and Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in 2018.  Mr. Santiago assisted the Authority in developing the procurement documents and the design-build agreement.

Awards & Honors

Washington, DC "Super Lawyer" for Transportation/Maritime Law, Washington Lawyer magazine, 2014 and 2015.

Simon J. Santiago
Bio Photo



J.D., Washington College of Law at American University, 1996, magna cum laude; Notes and Comments Editor, American University Law Review

B.A., University of Illinois, 1993


District of Columbia



United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia  

United States Court of Federal Claims

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association: Public Law Section; Forum on the Construction Industry

American Road and Transportation Builders Association: Public-Private Partnership Division: Board of Directors

District of Columbia Bar Association: Government Contracts and Litigation Section

Virginia State Bar Association: Construction and Public Contract Law Section

Maryland State Bar Association

Awards & Honors

Washington, DC "Super Lawyer" for Transportation/Maritime Law, Washington Lawyer magazine, 2014 and 2015.

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