TxDOT postpones awarding $1bn DfW Connector contract

The state will not select a developer for the $1bn road project at its meeting next week so it can re-evaluate funding sources, including the $2.2bn Texas expects to receive from the federal government under the $787bn American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is postponing the selection of a developer for the DfW Connector project in Fort Worth.

The department was originally hoping to select a developer for the project at the scheduled 26 February meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission. That meeting will no longer include an agenda item for selecting the developer since TxDOT wants to review all available funding sources for the project, including infrastructure spending allocations under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law earlier this week by President Barack Obama.

TxDOT estimates it will receive $2.2 billion from the federal government under the ARRA to spend on “shovel-ready” transportation and infrastructure projects across the state.

The cost of the DfW Project is estimated at over $1 billion, but TxDOT has only about $667 million of state gas tax funds available for the project, according to a spokesperson for the department.

The DfW Connector is structured as a design-build with no concession component. The winning contractor will win the contract to reconstruct and expand portions of state highways 114 and 121 in the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area, totalling approximately 16.2 miles.

Shortlisted bidders include Gateway Connector Constructors, led by Fluor and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure; North Gate Constructors, led by Kiewit Texas Construction and Zachry Construction; and Trinity Infrastructure, led by Ferrovial Agroman and W.W. Webber.

Another prominent TxDOT transportation project – the New LBJ project – is still expected to be conditionally awarded by the Texas Transportation Commission during its 26 February meeting. Last month, the commission received two proposals to develop the $1.5 billion project in Dallas County from investment groups led by ACS Infrastructure and Macquarie Capital.