Deadline of Texas road PPP bumped for ‘one-on-one’ time

The Texas Department of Transportation has moved back the deadline on a request for qualifications for its SH 183 public-private partnership. The later due date will give the department more time to meet with consortia.

The deadline to bid on a toll road concession in Texas has been bumped back to accommodate consortia that want to meet “one-on-one” with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

A request for qualifications (RFQ) for State Highway 183 (SH 183) issued in August had listed a September 7 due date. TxDOT decided to amend the RFQ with a Monday, October 29 deadline. The department based its decision on “industry” comment, TxDOT said.

Consortia have until Wednesday, September 19, to schedule a meeting in person or via conference call with TxDOT in the first week of October. The department also filed a letter of intent to request a $350 million TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan, TxDOT revealed in its amended RFQ.

A public-private partnership (PPP) to refurbish SH 183, or “Airport Freeway,” in Dallas, was conceived under Senate Bill 1420 in June, letting TxDOT toll the road. A design, build, operate, finance, and maintain project, SH 183 would cost $1.8 billion, and have a 52-year lease. TxDOT said $648 million in public funding is being put to the PPP.

TxDOT is planning to issue a request for proposals for the nine-mile project in late 2012, with construction slated to begin in 2013.

The first phase of the project would require SH 183 being turned into a toll road, as well as the reconstruction of the entire westbound surface and a portion of its eastbound general purpose lane.

Phase 2 and 3 of the PPP would follow.