Overview

Christine Ryan, head of Nossaman’s Austin office, guides public agencies through the process of structuring, developing, financing and operating large, complex and high-profile infrastructure projects, as well as smaller projects delivered through alternative methods – in Texas and around the nation. 

A 20-year veteran of the Firm, Christine develops strategies for project development during the procurement process; drafts and negotiates public-private partnership (P3) 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.

Nossaman is special counsel to the Texas Department of Transportation for its massive design-build and P3 program. Christine has been with the program since its inception – taking the lead on many projects and providing significant assistance to the agency in drafting and modifying the state’s enabling legislation, as well as standardized procurement documents for both small and large, complex design-build projects.

Experience

Experience

Texas Department of Transportation - North Houston Highway Improvement Project Segment 3. Lead attorney advising on what is expected to be one of the largest design-build projects in the history of the United States, valued at approximately $3.6 billion. This project will mitigate congestion and enhance safety in downtown Houston and for 8 of the top 35 most congested roadways in Texas​. Our duties involve drafting a pre-procurement Request for Information and procurement documents. A request for qualifications is anticipated to be issued in fall 2019.

Texas Department of Transportation – Oak Hill Parkway Project. Key member of the legal team advising on the procurement of a proposed $667million design-build-warrant project to reduce congestion and improve mobility in the Southwest Austin area. The Oak Hill Parkway Project will include the design and construction of approximately seven miles of non-tolled improvements along US 290 from Circle Drive to Loop 1 (Mopac) and along SH 71 from US 290 to Silvermine Drive, as well as the reconstruction of the US 290 and SH 71 interchange. In addition, the contract will include a five-year performance warranty for the project. TxDOT issued an RFQ in October 2018 and selected a Balfour Beatty/Fluor Corporation joint venture to develop the project in March 2020.

CPS Energy – JK Spruce Unit 1 SCR Retrofit Project. Leader of the legal team advising the largest municipally-owned utility in the U.S. in connection with the procurement for the design and construction of the selective catalytic reduction component of the Calaveras Power Station in San Antonio, Texas – one of the cleanest coal-fired plants in the U.S. The project is being developed to further reduce emissions. Christine’s role includes drafting the request for proposals, including the design-build agreement. 

University of Hawaii – Life Sciences Building. Co-leader of the Nossaman team that advised the University on its first design-build project, a 45,000-square-foot structure currently under construction on the Manoa Campus as the new home for the College of Natural Sciences’ biology, microbiology and botany departments, as well as the Pacific Biosciences Research Center and the Biological Electron Microscope Facility serving 60 campus labs. Services included review of the procurement package and providing an initial draft of the design-build contract, as well as conducting a statutory compliance review. The state-of-the art facility is anticipated to open in spring 2020.

Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 1 & 2W. Leader of the legal team that advised on the first phase of a project to improve mobility in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Segments 1 & 2W comprise a $2.05 billion piece of North Tarrant Express public-private partnership – a managed lanes project that fixed existing highway infrastructure and double existing road capacity. We handled the procurement of a 52-year DBFOM concession agreement to complete Segments 1 & 2W and a pre-development agreement to develop plans and concession agreements for the development of additional segments. The segments opened in October 2014 – six months ahead of schedule. Christine advised TxDOT regarding procurement issues, drafted 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 that on the second phase of an innovative highway improvement and managed lanes public-private partnership to alleviate heavy congestion in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We assisted TxDOT in negotiating a 2013 concession agreement for the award-winning $1.5 billion Segments 3A & 3B portion of North Tarrant Express, which rebuilds general-purpose lanes and doubles the existing roadway. Construction of both segments was completed in 2018. She currently advises TxDOT on contract administration matters.

Texas Department of Transportation – LBJ Express. Key member of the legal team that advised on a critical project to relieve pressure on a congested 17-mile corridor in the Dallas Metropolitan area. We guided procurement of a DBFOM toll concession for the $2.7 billion upgrade, one of the largest public-private partnership undertakings in U.S. history. The award winning 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 completion in 2015. Christine assisted with procurement, negotiation and financing issues and continues to advise on ongoing contract administration.

Texas Department of Transportation – SH 130, Segments 5 & 6. Key member of the legal team who advised on the first toll concession agreement in Texas history – a $1.36 billion 41-mile stretch of tolled lanes and frontage roads between San Antonio and Austin. The award-winning roadway, which opened ahead of schedule in late 2012, extended the SH 130 portion of the Central Texas Turnpike Project to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Christine assisted TxDOT with negotiations and development of follow-on agreements to the initial pre-development agreement, including a concession agreement for the SH 130 Segments 5 & 6 facility. Christine is currently assisting TxDOT with contract administration.

Texas Department of Transportation – U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge Replacement. Christine is the 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 $800 million DBOM project designed 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. 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 October 2015. Construction of the replacement bridge began in 2016 and is anticipated to conclude in 2020. Our services include procurement and pre-development strategies, drafting procurement documents, including the DBFOM agreement, and assisting with project finance requirements. We 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 – 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 design-build and capital maintenance contracts were awarded in 2017. Christine’s role during the procurement included formulating the contracting and procurement structure, drafting the contract and procurement documents, addressing risk allocation and negotiating the contract documents. Ms Ryan is currently assisting with contract administration and claims management.

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 and F-2 opened in February 2016 and Segment G opened in March 2016. Christine’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 – SH 360. Key member of the legal team advising on a $625 million, 9.7-mile tolled extension to relieve stress on highly congested roads in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The $300 million initial phase of the project includes a four-lane divided tollway and two divided lanes. Construction began in fall 2015 and was completed in 2018. Christine 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.

Texas Department of Transportation – SH 130 Segments 1-4. Leader of the legal team that advised 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. Christine advised the transportation agency on 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. Christine helped DART draft P3 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. Christine’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 Project. 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. Christine 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. Christine’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. 

Insights

Publications

  • 06.2013 | Project Finance International Global Infrastructure Report
  • Financial Close of Texas DOT's I-635 Marks Monumental Achievements
    07.01.2010 | Public Works Financing

Speaking Engagements

Organizations

Community & Professional

American Bar Association, Environmental Section

Women's Transportation Seminar

Education

Admissions

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