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prepare SH 121 bid
The North Texas Tollway Authority on
Wednesday took the first step that could lead to its submission
of a proposal for the State Highway 121 tolling project in
Collin and Denton counties.
The move comes one day after the state House of Representatives
passed a bill establishing a two-year moratorium on toll-road
contracts for the entire state except the four-county area
served by the NTTA - Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant
At a special called meeting of the
NTTA board of directors,
chairman Paul Wageman said, "Based on the clear consensus
expressed by the board today and absent any objection, I am
directing staff to prepare a proposal for the
construction and operation of SH 121, with the understanding
that the proposal staff prepares will not be delivered or
released to any party unless and until the board subsequently
reviews, approves and authorizes its delivery."
This action is in response to a written request from the North
Texas Regional Transportation Council, dated March 26, offering
to the NTTA board of directors the opportunity to “Submit a
Binding Commitment for the SH 121 project in Denton/Collin
Counties to the Regional Transportation Council.” The RTC asked
that the NTTA's proposal be submitted no later than 5 pm May 25.
On Feb. 27, the state awarded a conditional contract to the
Spanish firm Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de
Transporte, which has promised to pay $2.1 billion up front and
another $700 million in concessions to build and operate SH 121
for 50 years. The upfront money would be used to pay for other
road projects in Collin and Denton counties.
The portion of SH 121 in question extends from U.S. 75 in
McKinney/Allen to the merge with Business 121 near the
Lewisville/Coppell border. The portion from the western origin
to FM 544 west Carrollton is operational; the part from FM 544
to the Dallas North Tollway on the Plano/Frisco line is under
construction; and the portion from the tollway to U.S. 75, along
with full interchanges at the tollway and U.S. 75, is planned.
Based on preliminary analysis by key financial consultants and
staff, an NTTA proposal to acquire and develop SH 121 is
expected to generate a positive net financial impact. Jerry
Hiebert, the NTTA acting executive director, stated that “the
NTTA's undertaking of SH 121 is not expected to adversely affect
the NTTA's project delivery capabilities on existing and future
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Monday August 27, 2007