Road PPP brewing in central Texas

A request for information regarding an 11-mile road redevelopment in the Lone Star state is due October 31. The project, which could involve a 52-year concession, may be worth more than $240m.

A road redevelopment idea under consideration in central Texas could result in a public-private partnership (PPP). 

A request for information (RFI) is being issued by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), which is seeking to improve or completely redevelop an 11.9-mile stretch of road from Farm-to-Market Road 734 to Cesar Chavez Street via a possible PPP. 

Dubbed the MoPac Improvement Project, the plan is aimed at delivering an “express lane alternative” that would include a tolled express lane in each direction.

The project would also require the widening of pavement and the construction of a sound wall, and would be “dynamically priced,” using an “all-electronic toll collection system”.

CTRMA has estimated the cost of the MoPac Improvement Project to top $240 million, but has not settled on a delivery method.

A PPP might include a traditional design-build component and a 52-year concession. The RFI also stressed that CTRMA has not committed to using a PPP model for the project, and added that the project is still under environmental review. 

The RFI is due October 31. Once the authority has determined how to proceed with the project, a request for qualifications (RFQ) or a request for proposals (RFP) will follow.

CTRMA executive director Mike Heiligenstein did not return a voicemail message from Infrastructure Investor.  

The CTRMA is also considering a PPP for a second road project in “the near future.”

The authority indicated a similar RFI process would be used for its so-called Bergstrom Expressway project. The authority indicated the process would begin in the “next several months”.