I-35E project makes strides

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The deadline to receive proposals from developers seeking to win a contract for the Interstate 35E expansion project ended Monday, and transportation officials anticipate announcing a winner from among four developers next month.

The Texas Department of Transportation received financial proposals Monday and technical proposals Nov. 12 from four teams of developers that outlined how they will manage, plan, execute and control all aspects of the I-35E project.

The expansion is a $4.8 billion project expected to rebuild a 28-mile corridor from U.S. Highway 380 to Interstate 635 in phases. It will also provide managed toll lanes to keep traffic moving at least 50 mph without congestion, said Donna Huerta, a TxDOT spokeswoman.

About $1.1 billion has been identified to fund the project with most of the funds coming from the State Highway 121 regional toll revenue funds dedicated to Denton County.

On April 26, TxDOT announced the short list of the most qualified teams to compete for the I-35E design and build contract. Each team is made up of about two to three companies working together toward receiving the contract.

A few of the listed companies include Archer Western Contractors, Granite Construction Co., Fluor Enterprises Inc., Zachry Construction Corp., Webber LLC, Texas Sterling Construction Co. and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. 

“Each team has invested a lot of time into this project and each one is fully committed to getting the contract,” said John Polster, transportation consultant for Denton County.

Details about the submitted proposals were not available Monday, but Polster said he does not expect any of the four teams to miss any of the deadlines.

“I’ve talked to each one on several occasions, and I’m fairly confident they all followed through because this is a big project with a lot at stake,” he said.

After announcing the winner Dec. 13, TxDOT expects to award the full contract in February after the winning team completes various contract agreements. According to TxDOT and Polster, construction is still scheduled to start in July 2013.

“The next big date is Dec. 13 and every detail will be a secret all the way up until that date,” Polster said. “It’s a very confidential and closed process and very few people are let in on it.”

If construction begins in 2013, work could be complete by 2017, according to the TxDOT website.

Precise timelines for portions that will be reconstructed with new managed lanes are contingent upon funding and future proposals.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail is jharden@dentonrc.com .


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