P3 Project Spells Relief for Fort Worth-Area Drivers
We were involved in an innovative deal aimed at providing relief to drivers on one of the Fort Worth area's busiest highways. We helped the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) solidify a public-private partnership agreement to launch the North Tarrant Express Segments 3A & 3B Project. The project is a key development in a network of new managed lanes on several highways in the rapidly growing Dallas-Fort Worth region.
One of the largest P3 toll concessions in the U.S., the $1.5 billion project includes reconstructing general purpose lanes and adding two managed lanes in each direction for 10 miles along I-35W from I-30 to U.S. 81/287 – doubling the capacity of the existing roadway. The tolled lanes, called TEXpress Lanes, help manage traffic flow by adjusting according to traffic speed and volume. Other improvements include rebuilding existing frontage roads, bridges and overpasses.
We worked with the parties to achieve a highly unique concession agreement that reached financial close in September 2013. In a cutting-edge risk-sharing arrangement between TxDOT and developer NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC, the developer will design, build, operate and maintain Segment 3A – the portion of the road from I-30 to Loop 820. TxDOT will design and build Segment 3B – the portion extending from north of Loop 820 to U.S. 287 – before turning the operations and maintenance over to the developer. It will operate and maintain the highway and collect the tolls until 2061.
Segment 3B was completed in December 2016, Segment 3A in July 2018, and Segment 3C is currently under design and construction.
The project is being financed through a combination of public and private funds, including:
- $531 million from a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan;
- $430 million in private equity from investment partners;
- $274 million in Private Activity Bonds (PABs); and,
- $127 million in public funds from TxDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.