Denton County motorists are mere months away from seeing work begin on the expansion of Interstate 35E.
On Thursday, the Texas Transportation Commission chose AGL Constructors as the developer for the 28-mile corridor between Denton and Carrollton. Once complete, the project will improve existing lanes of the interstate, provide continuous frontage roads and construct new, reversible, managed toll lanes to keep traffic moving at at least 50 mph.
AGL Constructors is a consortium that includes Archer Western Contractors LLC, Granite Construction Co. and Lane Construction Corp.
“All four firms on the short list were good firms; they all had a strong pedigree behind them,” said John Polster, Denton County transportation consultant. “I am glad Archer Western got it. They were ranked No. 1 coming into this.”
Polster also served on the committee charged with determining the scope, cost and implementation method of the expansion project.
“We currently have Lane Construction [working] on FM407 and Copper Canyon Road, and Granite did some construction for us back in the day,” Polster said. “If history is any predictor of the future, this is a good group of guys that really know how to get in and get out on a project.”
Currently, there is $1 billion in funding available for the project. The ultimate build-out cost for all four phases of the project is estimated to be $4.8 billion. Future phases will be constructed as funds become available.
Construction is slated to begin in 2013, with the first phase scheduled for completion in late 2016.
Polster is confident the dates set for the project will be met, touting the productivity provided by the design-build method that will be used for this project.
In a design-build project, a project’s design is tailored to a given budget, ensuring that the firm chosen for the job can do the best and fastest work under the set design and budget considerations.
“The D-FW connector is a design-build project and it’s currently one year ahead of schedule,” Polster said.
County Judge Mary Horn said choosing the construction firm is another step in the right direction of a very long process.
“I look forward to the day we start turning the dirt,” she said. “We’ve had good planning, and so far, the time line proposed has been met. I hope it continues in that direction.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.