With over 25 years of experience, Patricia de la Peña has played a key role in delivering many of the largest transportation projects in Texas and the U.S through innovative methods.  She assists clients in developing successful procurement strategies and documents, drafting and negotiating public-private partnership (P3) agreements and design-build contracts and handling contract administration issues.

For more than a decade, Patricia has been a key member of the legal team assisting the Texas Department of Transportation in development and implementation of the largest P3 and design-build program in the country.  In addition to advising the agency on project development and implementation, she assists with contract administration issues and is helping the agency develop standardized procurement and contract documents for design-build projects.

Patricia also leads Nossaman’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is active in promoting diversity and gender equality within the Firm and the broader community.



Texas Department of Transportation – SH 249.  Leader of the legal team advising on the procurement of a proposed $400 million design-build-maintain project to enhance connections between the metropolitan areas of Houston, Bryan/College Station and Waco while improving safety in communities along the route.  The SH 249 Extension Project, an approximately 24-mile new tolled facility, will include an initial segment with up to four new managed lanes – two in each direction – from FM 1774 in Pinehurst in Montgomery County to FM 1774 in Todd Mission in Grimes County.  The second segment will consist of two new toll lanes – one in each direction – with periodic passing lanes (Super 2 configuration) from FM 1774 in Todd Mission to SH 105 near Navasota in Grimes County.  TxDOT issued an RFQ in May 2015, shortlisted five teams in August 2015, and issued an RFP in September 2016.  Patricia’s duties involve drafting procurement and contract documents, including the RFQ, RFP and design-build and capital maintenance agreements.

Texas Department of Transportation – SH 360.  Leader 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.  An 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 Authority for ownership and tolling.  TxDOT awarded a contract to a Lane/Abrams joint venture in May 2015.  Construction began in fall 2015 and the project reached substantial completion in 2018.  Patricia assisted TxDOT in drafting procurement documents, including the design-build and comprehensive maintenance agreements.  She also advised during the procurement and award process, including assisting in one-on-one meetings with proposers, responding to proposer questions regarding commercial terms, assisting with the evaluation process, negotiations with the selected proposer and obtaining post-selection approvals.  Patricia is currently assisting TxDOT with ongoing contract administration.

City of Indianapolis – Marion County Justice Center.  Member of the legal team that advised on all aspects of an innovative availability payment P3 project to consolidate the City’s criminal justice functions into a single efficient center.  The plan, one of the first of its kind for a justice complex, called for $500 million of up-front design, construction and financing costs to shift to a private partner responsible for operating, maintaining and upgrading the facility for 35 years.  The 1.2 million-square-foot facility combined a new adult detention center with a community corrections facility, courthouse, sheriff’s department offices and new surface parking.  The City released an RFP to three shortlisted teams in June 2014 and selected a preferred bidder in December 2014.  After successfully completing negotiations with the bidder, the mayor and City staff recommended awarding the project and advancing with commercial and financial close.  The City Council, however, decided not to move forward with the complex and cancelled the procurement after receiving three compliant bids.

Texas Department of Transportation – Border West Expressway.  Leader of the legal team advising on an approximately $640 million DBM project to complete Loop 375 encircling the City of El Paso.  The proposed 9-mile roadway straddling the Rio Grande River along the U.S./Mexico border aims to provide an alternate route for I-10, addressing needed improvements in highway capacity, reliability and regional system linkage for the El Paso metropolitan area.  The project, the largest transportation undertaking in the city’s history by cost and complexity, includes a new 5.6-mile, four-lane controlled access highway.  The Department awarded a contract to an Abrams/Kiewit joint venture in August 2014.  Patricia is currently assisting with contract administration.

Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 1 & 2W.  Key member of the legal team that advised on the pre-development agreement for the North Tarrant Express project and a toll concession agreement for first phase of the project, designed 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 P3 – 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 and a pre-development agreement to develop plans and concession agreements for additional segments.  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 – several months ahead of schedule.  The project captured several awards including Infrastructure Journal’s Global Transport Deal of the Year in 2009, P3 Co-Project of the Year from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in 2010, and Best of the Best in the Highway/Bridge category from Engineering News-Record in 2016. In 2017, the project was awarded the Infrastructure Award from the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Texas Department of Transportation – North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B.  Leader of the legal team advising on the second phase of an innovative highway improvement and managed lanes P3 to alleviate heavy congestion in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Patricia assisted TxDOT in negotiating 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 of both segments was completed in 2018.  Infrastructure Investor magazine named the project "North American Transport Deal of the Year" in 2014.

Texas Department of Transportation – Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement.  Leader of the legal team advising TxDOT in managing a Statewide Toll System Integration and Maintenance Agreement with Transcore – the largest provider of toll maintenance services in the U.S.  The Agreement requires TransCore to develop, install, integrate, test and maintain the Department’s current and future toll systems.  Patricia assists with drafting and negotiating Project Segment Supplements, which are used to add toll systems to the Agreement. 

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 P3 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.  The American Road and Transportation Builders Association named LBJ Express P3 Co-Project of the Year in 2010.  Patricia assisted with procurement and financing issues.

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas – METRO Solutions Phase 2.  Member of the legal team that advised the transit agency on a project to extend the Houston METRORail system.  The first leg of the system, the 7.5-mile long Red Line, boasts one of the highest ridership rates in the country since opening a decade ago.   METRO Solutions Phase 2 is a $1.46 billion project to design, build, equip, operate and maintain three additional rail lines.  The Authority awarded a development agreement to Parsons Transportation Group Inc. and a design-build contract to a Parsons/Granite/ Kiewit joint venture with vehicles acquired from CAF USA Inc.  The Red Line northern extension opened in December 2013 and the Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) began service in 2015.  Patricia’s services included advising on the turnkey contract to develop the project, assisting with development of procurement and contract documents, and working on insurance issues. 

Metro Gold Line Construction Authority – Metro Gold Line.  Member of the legal team that advised the Authority with respect to its design-bulid contract for Phase 2A of the Gold Line light rail system, extending the route eastward from Pasadena through the region’s foothill cities.  Phase 2A of the project, which was open for service in March 2016, extended the line to Azusa and added 11.3 miles of new track along with six new stations and an operations and maintenance facility.  Our services included an agreement with Skanska USA to develop an $18 million freeway structure bridge; a $486 million alignment contract with a Kiewit/Parsons joint venture; and a $49 million agreement with Webcor Builders for a parking structure.  We assisted with risk allocation analysis, prepared procurement and contract documents and assisted in the award process and contract administration. In 2016, the Gold Line project won Outstanding Rail Project of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch; the Sustainability Excellence Distinction Award and Exceptional Project Achievement Award from the Western Council of Construction Consumers; and the Excellence in Dispute Avoidance & Resolution Award from the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation. Also in 2016, the Gold Line Phase 2A freeway structure bridge was honored as one of ArchDaily’s Top 100 Architecture Projects.



Speaking Engagements


Community & Professional

American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section

Texas Bar Association

California State Bar Association 

Women's Transportation Seminar

Hispanic National Bar Association

International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association

Hispanic Bar Association of Austin




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