Andrée Blais Named Transportation MVP
Andrée Blais was profiled by Law360 after being selected as a 2022 Law360 MVP (subscription required) for Transportation. Andrée is just one of five attorneys recognized nationally in the practice area.
Law360 highlighted Andrée’s work as the leader on some of the country’s most significant transportation projects, referencing her lead role on structuring “innovative procurement contracts for public agencies spearheading ambitious infrastructure projects such as L.A. Metro’s Sepulveda Pass rail transit project.”
Summarizing the project, the publication wrote, “L.A. Metro is building a new rail transit line that would connect the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles’ Westside, with an eventual extension to Los Angeles International Airport. For the estimated $6 billion to $10 billion project, L.A. Metro adopted a unique approach. In the summer of 2021, L.A. Metro inked contracts with two separate project development teams working on two different concepts for the new line: One is a heavy rail line, and the other is a monorail. The…predevelopment agreements allow for both teams to simultaneously get started on pre-construction work, and prep for environmental and regulatory reviews. The idea is to help L.A. Metro identify risks early, select the most financially, environmentally and technically feasible option and eventually arrange private financing to deliver the project.”
Commenting on the approach L.A. Metro used on the project, Andrée emphasized “how very unique that procurement was and the approach that Metro is taking here … it’s very visible in the market and a lot of different agencies are watching to see how this goes.” She added, “It’s very interesting and kind of unprecedented.”
To close the article, Andrée discussed how the results of projects she has worked on have a positive impact on communities. She expressed, “There’s public benefit or public purpose to the work.”
For one of these projects, she helped “craft the public-private partnership delivery model and the $4.9 billion agreement that Los Angeles inked in 2018 with the developer of the LAX Automated People Mover project.” Law360 added, “Construction is well underway [on the project] and the system is expected to be operational in 2023.”
“I feel like there are results that come from my hard work in helping these public agencies find ways to do these things that make economic sense and can accelerate delivery of these important systems and assets for the public,” Andrée noted.