Texas Transportation Commission Authorizes $8.9 Billion in Road Projects
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
The Grand Parkway ends at Interstate 69. This week's action by the Texas Transportation Commission allows completion of the tollway to Baytown.
Posted: 3-31-2017, 4:45 p.m.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Austin (Travis County) - The Texas Transportation Commission updated the Unified Transportation Program and authorized $8.9 billion in road projects this week. In addition, the equity members in Grand Parkway Infrastructure were awarded the contract to build a multi-county, 44-mile segment of the Grand Parkway/SH 99 toll road.
Commissioner J. Bruce Bugg Jr. said at the March 28 hearing that the commission's action moved forward more than 230 projects and represented 44 percent of the Texas Department of Transportation's 10-year UTP allocations.
GPI's design-build base price was about $855 million, and its capital maintenance agreement for years 1-15 was about $26 million. The contract is anticipated to be executed in June, and the project should be substantially complete by early 2022.
The segment to be constructed is from Interstate 69/U.S. Highway 59 near New Caney to I-10 east of Baytown. Total cost of the tollway extension is estimated at $1.25 billion. The tollway project crosses Chambers, Harris, Liberty and Montgomery counties.
There are four segments in the tollway project. Segment H and I-1 will be 37.5 miles of new two-lane tolled road with intermittent passing lanes. Segment 1-2A will involved upgrades to 8.7 miles of an existing four-lane road, and the addition of an overpass at Fisher Road. Not included in the contract is Segment 1-2B--a 6.1-mile stretch of new four-lane tolled road.
Other significant projects included in the March UTP authorization include $150 million for an interchange in Pharr in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In total, the eight-county Pharr District (Rio Grande Valley) will receive $338 million.
The Pharr Interchange Expansion is needed to assist with the growing freight traffic coming from the Pharr International Bridge and other ports of entry.
The largest single TxDOT district by allocation goes to the six-county Houston District, which will receive more than $1.6 billion.
In the Metroplex, the six-county Dallas District is in line for $1 billion. The Fort Worth District will receive about $650 million.
Along the Central Texas I-35 corridor, the 11-county Austin District receives $670 million, and the 12-county San Antonio District will get $547 million.
Yoakum District, a predominantly rural 11-county region between Houston and Corpus Christi, receives $443 million. The four-county Corpus Christi District receives about $325 million for improvements to U.S. Hwy 281, U.S. Hwy 77, SH 44, and I-37.
Allocations to other TxDOT Districts, rounded to nearest million:
Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has previously worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States. He is a communications graduate of the University of Texas-PanAmerican.
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