Madrid-based Cintra is the main partner in a team of private developers that today was awarded a contract to build two toll lanes in each direction on NE Loop 820 and Airport Freeway in Northeast Tarrant County. Cintra is heading up a team called NTE Mobililty Partners.
The losing team, OHL Infrastructure Inc., also from Madrid, was disqualified from the bidding for failing to post the necessary security (i.e. a bond, deposit or form of insurance, if you will ...).
... Although the contract with Cintra was approved today by the Texas Transportation Commission, it will take about 61 days for the deal to be finalized.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2010 and be completed in 2015.
Existing lanes will remain toll-free, but motorists will have the option of jumping on the tolls lanes to escape congestion. Tolls for a one-way trip on the 13-mile stretch of road will range from $1.20 to $6.50. That's the from the 820/I-35W interchange in north Fort Worth to the Texas 121/183 split in Bedford, according to the proposal.
Cintra was also the company that master planned the I-35 corridor reliever route of the Trans-Texas Corridor. State officials recently announced that they were discontinuing the Trans-Texas Corridor in its current form because of statewide opposition.
Commuters who use Northeast Loop 820 in North Richland Hills and Haltom City will be interested to know that a deal to expand the road and add both toll and toll-free lanes is about to be announced. The Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday is expected to select one of two proposals from private bidders to rebuild Loop 820, as well as portions of Interstate 35W in north Fort Worth and Texas 121/183 Airport Freeway in Bedford, Euless and Hurst.
It's a package worth more than $1 billion, collectively known as North Tarrant Express. The Loop 820 portion of the project reportedly could be under construction by year's end. This is gonna be an interesting deal because it's one of the few privately developed toll projects still allowed under state law.
Traffic is groovy on Texas 121/183 in Northeast Tarrant County. At 11
a.m., I rode behind a TxDot sand truck that was spreading sand on
bridges on eastbound 183 in Hurst. I'm also happy to report that my
wiper fluid isn't yet frozen and I was able to clean the muck off my
windshield after exiting the freeway. Once the frozen temp really sets
it -- probably right about now -- I wouldn't advise using any liquid on
your windshield that may cause a crack ... -- Gordon.
When the streets turn icy, it's not unusual for traffic to grind to a halt. During one particularly bad winter storm a few years ago, it took me more than two hours to go five miles. So if you're planning to be out on the Dallas-Fort Worth streets today, answer nature's call before getting behind the wheel.
And make sure any young'uns you'll be transporting do the same ...