Texas delays Grand Parkway RFQ

The Texas Department of Transportation had planned to issue a request for qualifications for the road project by August 15, but has decided to postpone the RFQ in order to assess the “feasibility of a public sector financed delivery option versus a private sector financed option”.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has postponed its deadline for issuing the request for qualifications for the Grand Parkway project, a proposed public-private partnership (PPP) to develop a 180-mile ring road near Houston.

TxDOT issued a request for information for the proposed PPP in June and received responses from 23 groups including Macquarie, Balfour Beatty Capital, ACS, China Construction America, Vinci, Kiewit, Hochtief, and a group comprised of Spanish toll road developer Cintra and infrastructure fund manager Meridiam.

But in a notice posted to the project website last week, TxDOT announced that the state would delay the issuance of the request for qualifications (RFQ) by about six to eight weeks in order “to better understand the differences in the feasibility of a public sector financed delivery option versus a private sector financed option prior to issuing the RFQ”.

The Grand Parkway is one of 11 specific projects that TxDOT can now pursue as a PPP, thanks to Senate Bill 1420, which passed the state legislature earlier this year and was signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, in June.

TxDOT also said it would delay the RFQ in order to evaluate new requirements mandated by Senate Bill 1420, which are under consideration by the Texas Transportation Commission.